little secrets records and stuff logo

little secrets records and stuff

Jane D. Marsching with Mathew Shanley
Climate Commons

Climate Commons logo

Climate Commons is a networked conversation space that creates a cross-disciplinary platform for planetary ecological concerns. Twelve people who research issues relevant to the arctic and climate change contribute the progress of their investigations and reflections from October 10, 2006 through January 10, 1007. These networked conversations can be read by and contributed to by visitors to the exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston or on the web at


  • Sally Bingham, Episcopal Priest
  • Jock Gill, Carbon Neutral by 2020
  • Mitchel Joachim, Architect
  • Jane D. Marsching, Artist
  • Larry Merculieff, Alaska Native Science Commission
  • Robert Newman, Novelist and Comedian
  • Matthew Nolan, Glaciologist
  • James Overland, Climatologist
  • Russell Potter, Historian
  • Andrew Revkin, Environmental Journalist
  • Sarah Rich, WorldChanging
  • Matthew Shanley, Artist/Programmer
  • Juanita Urban-Rich, Windows Around the World

In the gallery at the new Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston is the physical site of the networked conversation Climate Commons. This lounge creates a space that is modular (for individual or group interaction), portable, and relaxing (a space for contemplation, conversation, research, and thought among a group of viewers or alone). The furniture and flooring is built from materials upcyled from the construction of the new ICA building. Upcyling, a word coined by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart, completely reuses materials in ways that do not degrade their quality. This principle is in harmony with the conversation’s central concerns: the past, present, and future ecology of our planet in the light of human contributions to climate change, particularly as it affects the Arctic.

Climate Commons is built on a customized version of WordPress. In addition to our own extensions, we are using the following plugins: Category Tagging by Michael Woehrer, Geo by Owen Winkler, and Geo Mashup by Dylan Kuhn.

Matt Shanley has created three main visual tools to help foster the dialog on this site.

  • The word count history graph uses sparklines to give you an idea of the ups and downs of site activity at a glance.
  • The hexagraph provides a spatial representation of the threads of a conversation. You can literally see when a conversation branch is bursting at the seams.
  • Category highlighting reveals common threads by illuminating the key words.

Project concept and design: Jane D. Marsching
With Mathew Shanley

Still Images

Released in 2006–2007.