350 EARTH: Climate Art Show Spans the Globe

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Human beings will be the primary artistic medium for the world’s largest display of art spanning the globe at twenty locations. Visible from space and organized by 350.org, the installation begins on Saturday, November 20 and will last for a week.

Why art? 350 EARTH is designed to add a fresh perspective to the scientific debate on global warming. 350.org founder, Bill McKibben, says, “We realize that the human mind doesn’t only respond to bar graphs and pie charts, that art is an important part of how we take in the world and it can help us perceive things we wouldn’t otherwise perceive.”

The installation will take place the week before the United Nations resumes negotiations in Cancun, Mexico on a global climate treaty. The message for the international community from 350 EARTH activists is simple: It’s time to save the planet.

Frustrated by the lack of progress in addressing climate change, 350.org founders turned to art to help communicate the threat of global warming and increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. The project also aims to stress the importance of global cooperation while embracing scientific, political, and economic partnerships.

McKibben, “Art can’t do this job by itself – we need science and engineering and economics and all the functions of the right brain fully engaged. But humans have deep spirit too, and we’re counting on that to help.”

Isafjordur, Iceland
Photo credit: 350.org/Sara Martin

From Jaime Henn, co-founder and communications director for 350.org, “We’ve never faced something quite as big as climate change. Art’s ability to help us see the crisis for all that it is – and imagine the solutions we need to solve it – will be crucial to our success.”

Forty-two years ago, the crew of Apollo 8 looked at the earth for the first time as an isolated sphere in the dark expanse of space. Today, satellites will begin to record an eight-day SOS signal from communities around the planet seeking to safeguard the one place everyone calls home.

Terrain.org is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, artwork, case studies, and more since 1997.