Class Action Collective
The Patriotism of Science and Religion
LED digital bulletin displays
Methuen, MA, Route 93; Canton, MA, Route 95
Project Partners: Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), Art for Science Rising program; Outfront Media Boston
The Patriotism of Science and Religion is a public art project that addresses both the Trump administration’s policies that have sidelined science, and the progress that Massachusetts has made to dramatically reduce the state’s fossil emissions by trusting science. The messages urge citizens to trust the research and recommendations of climate scientists who overwhelmingly agree on climate urgency. Massachusetts is ranked #3 out of the 50 states in lowering fossil fuel emissions in accordance with the 2016 Paris Agreement. The goal of the billboards is to engage residents of Massachusetts, New England, and the nation in advocating to their political representatives for continued efforts to address climate change.
The messages call on the audience to take climate science seriously in order to slow down the damaging effects of human activity on our planet. Referencing familiar phrases from the Bible and the official motto of the United States, the core message is that science, religion and patriotism can peacefully co-exist, despite the oppositional sentiment that pervades the current political landscape. The opinions and actions of everyday citizens and the pressure they apply on their elected officials are critical to upcoming decisions on climate chaos. The billboards remind us all that we can support science while still maintaining spiritual and patriotic beliefs.
Installed April 1 – 28, 2019 to coincide with Easter, Patriot’s Day and Earth Day, the billboards were situated on Interstate 93 in Methuen, MA and on Interstate 95 in Canton, MA — both facing northbound traffic.
This project was made possible by a grant from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), through its Art for Science Rising program. UCS conducted a national search for “public-facing art that highlights the role science plays in protecting our health and safety, and the critical role we all play in ensuring that science isn’t sidelined.” Outfront Media Boston provided the space and production services at a reduced rate.
About the Artists
Class Action creates public messages to influence the way issues are understood and to motivate audiences to participate in civic dialogue. Merging methods of political art with mass communication strategies of graphic design and advertising, in work spanning two decades, the group has addressed social change in areas ranging from domestic violence to reproductive rights, aids awareness, gun violence and teen pregnancy. Founded by graduate students at the Yale School of Art in 1992, Class Action has received local, national and international recognition for its work. The five members of Class Action teach at prominent institutions and run design studio practices.
LOVE THY CLIMATE AS THYSELF: I-93 Northbound, Methuen, MA
IN CLIMATE SCIENCE WE TRUST: I-95 Northbound, Canton, MA
Related City Resources
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