Digital Doubt outside the circle

Shadow Growth: The vast obscurity beneath the upwards arrow

2021-ongoing By DISNOVATION.ORG
This image show various graphs comparing economic growth to the social
cost of CO2 emissions. It tracks CO2 emissions in the Global South in
comparison to the Global North. The graphs are all white, over a black
background. The emissions and economic growth in the Global North are much
higher in relation to the Global South.
SHADOW GROWTH: THE VAST OBSCURITY BENEATH THE UPWARDS ARROW (, a project by DISNOVATION.ORG & Baruch Gottlieb, programmed by Jerome Saint-Clair, commissioned by The Photographers' Gallery, 2021.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measures how much a given country produces, from wheat and iPhones to oil and socks. The higher the number, the reasoning goes, the healthier the economy. DISNOVATION.ORG’s SHADOW GROWTH project questions the logic of this idea of progress. As one of their graphs demonstrates, whilst GDP in the US may have increased dramatically between 1955 and 2007, ‘gross national happiness’ stagnated, and even diminished, during these decades.

DISNOVATION’s project focuses on one of the GDP’s many ‘shadows’: CO2 emissions. From the environmental impact of manufacturing to emissions from boats, ships, planes and automobiles used to transport goods from one place to another, CO2 emissions rise directly in response to the increased production of a given country. SHADOW GROWTH prototypes strategies that can challenge or replace the iconic GDP growth curve to better address today’s ecosystemic challenges. By confronting us with visual evidence of our misguided markers for ‘progress’, DISNOVATION.ORG prompts us to imagine more collectively useful metrics.

Part of Post Growth Prototype video series, 2011-ongoing, by DISNOVATION.ORG.