Working in collaboration with Serpentine and file-sharing service WeTransfer, Vivienne Westwood is calling upon us all to embrace green energy providers with her latest SWITCH campaign. Exclusively available via WePresent, the editorial section of WeTransfer, Westwood’s exhortation forms the second installment of Groundwork: WePresent’s creative series documenting behind-the-scenes research into artists’ new works for Back to Earth, Serpentine’s multi-year environmental programme.
This is not the first time Westwood has issued such a call to action. In 2017 she released her Fashion Switch to Green campaign, appealing directly to the fashion community to join her in the switch to renewable energy. This time, Westwood is appealing to all industries and individuals, joining the likes of contemporary artists Olafur Eliasson, Maria Theresa Alves and Judy Chicago in adding her voice to the Serpentine’s multidisciplinary project.
Driven by recent research that found more than one billion people will be displaced or forced to endure insufferable heat by 2070, this latest iteration comes with a renewed sense of vigour. Through her 12-page NO MANS LAND manifesto, Westwood proposes a radical new system in which the use of land, air and the ocean is regulated, with corporations and technocrats forced to pay set rents. This would be achieved by the creation of an independent body, the Autonomous Bureau of Assessment (ABA), who would be responsible for establishing biosphere rent prices based on the principle that what is good for the planet is good for the economy. Other policies include stopping arms production, saving the Equatorial rain forest and halting the destruction of our oceans by ending subsidies for industrial fishing.
Accompanied by a series of hand-illustrated posters and cards (above) as well as a downloadable PDF on the benefits of switching to green energy by NGO Julie’s Bicycle, SWITCH envisions a future of unity and collaboration as the only way in which industries can work together towards this urgent cause. As part of the Groundwork series, WePresent invites the public to donate to a charity chosen by the featured artist. Westwood has chosen Cool Earth, a non-profit based in Cornwall that works alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation and climate change. Donations can be made via the WePresent feature and a dedicated Cool Earth wallpaper on the WeTransfer site.