Dec 2, 2010

350 Earth: World’s First Art Exhibit Visible from Space

Photograph by DDancer/

From November 20-28, 350 EARTH launched the world’s first ever global climate art project. In over a dozen places across the globe, citizens and artists created massive public art installations to show how climate change is already impacting our world as well as offer visions of how we can solve the crisis. Each art installation was large enough to be seen from space and documented by satellites generously provided by DigitalGlobe.

350 EARTH was the first-ever global scale group show on the front line of climate change—our polluted cities, endangered forests, melting glaciers, and sinking coastlines. It took place on the eve of the United Nations climate meetings in Cancun, Mexico where delegates are working to create an international climate treaty. 350 EARTH demonstrates the public support for bold climate action and the role that art can play in inspiring humanity to take on our greatest challenge: protecting the planet on which we live.

“King Canute” by Thom Yorke — Brighton-Hove, UK

Photograph by Malcolm Land / Sealand Aerial Photography Ltd.

As part of the 350 EARTH planetary art show, over 2,000 people gathered in Brighton-Hove, UK and formed an image of King Canute, who futilely attempted to control the oceans according to legend. The image was
designed by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke who generously donated his time, energy, and art to make the event a success.

“Red Polar Bear” by Bjargey Olafsdottir — Langjokull Glacier, Iceland

Photograph by Christopher Lund

Photograph by Christopher Lund

Artist Bjargey Olafsdottir created a “Red Polar Bear” on the Langjokull Glacier in Iceland as part of the 350 EARTH planetary art show. The image is painted with red organic food dye approved for environmental use.

“Solar Scarab” by Sarah Rifaat — Cairo, Egypt

Photograph by Ahmed Hayman

In Cairo, Egypt, hundreds of students formed the image of a traditional Scarab beetle, a traditional symbol of rebirth and regeneration that was often depicted on temple walls pushing the ball of the sun across the sky. Using the scarab and the sun in this art piece is both a reminder of the integral part the sun has always played in Egyptian history, and a call for re-examining our modern relationship to this most abundant source of clean energy.

“Gal·la” by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada — Delta del Ebro, Spain

Photograph by for Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada

Photograph by for Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada

Citizens from the Delta del Ebro region joined renowned urban-artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada to form a giant representation of the face of a young girl who wishes to see the Delta survive the threat of climate change.

“Flash Flood” by Santa Fe Art Institute — Santa Fe, USA

Satellite Image by Digital Globe

Photograph by Michael Clark

Photograph by Michael Clark

The Santa Fe EARTH event, showing how the Santa Fe River could look if there was water running through it. The Santa Fe River is one of the 10 most endangered rivers in North America. Over a 1,000 people came out and held up blue painted pieces of cardboard or tarps as a satellite passed over. The event was put on by and the Santa Fe Art Institute on November 20, 2010 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“Human Hurricane” by Pablo Caballero — Mexico City, Mexico

Photograph by Ricardo Villarreal T.

Satellite image by Digital Globe

Photograph by Ricardo Villarreal T.

More than 3,500 schoolchildren and members of the community came together in Mexico City’s Venustiano Carranza plaza on Monday November 22 to form a “human hurricane”, to represent Mexico’s vulnerability to climate change impacts like the devastating hurricanes that hit the states of Nuevo Leon and Veracruz earlier this year. The event was part of 350 EARTH, the world’s first climate change art project large enough to be visible from space. Organizers wished to send a message to world leaders gathering next week in Cancun, Mexico for the UN climate negotiations that climate impacts like more frequent and intense hurricanes are already happening, and that the time to act is now.

Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic

Satellite image by Digital Globe

Photograph by Marvin del Cid

In Dominican Republic hundreds of people in white gathered to raise their voices and commitment to the climate crisis. The message conveyed was the threat of sea level rise to an island nation as Dominican Republic and was part of one of the 350 EARTH events happening worldwide, a week before the climate negotiations. This day, November 21st, will always be remembered as the day that Dominicans came together for Planet Earth, our only home.

“350 EARTH Australia” by Keith Chidzey — Fowler’s Gap , Australia

Photograph by

“Solar Sun” by The Canary Project — Cape Town, South Africa

Photograph by Jade Wyatt-Holling

In Cape Town, South Africa, The Canary Project and local citizens created an enormous Solar Sun out of 70 high powered parabolic solar cookers with the “rays” being on the ground tables where the local community feasted on traditional food made in the solar cookers. After the event, the solar cookers were donated to the Khayelitsha community of Cape Town where many people do not have access to electricity. Each high powered parabolic cooker lasts for 10 years and requires no fossil fuels, saving money for families while also protecting their health and the environment.

“Solar Eagle” by Spectral Q — Los Angeles, USA

Photograph by Jeff Pantukhoff / Spectral Q

Photograph by Jeff Pantukhoff / Spectral Q

The Syllabic word accompanying the Solar Eagle means ‘Well Being’ in Inuktitut (Inuit language), which stands for ‘Harmony, Balance & Health,’ the Goal of our global efforts.

“Brazilian Flag” — Brazil

Photograph by

“350 Cool Roof” by Molly Dilworth — New York City, USA

Photograph by Steve Amiaga

Photograph by Steve Amiaga

In New York City, USA, artist Molly Dilworth, famous for painting a mural in the new Times Square Plaza, created a “Cool Roof” for a school by painting a lightly colored representation of the New York and New Jersey coastline after a 7 meter rise in sea levels.

“Climate Elephant” by Daniel Dancer — New Delhi, India

Photograph by DDancer/

3,000 students and teachers at the Ryan International School in New Delhi along with volunteers from the Indian Youth Climate Network joined aerial artist Daniel Dancer to form an enormous elephant with rising seas below to ask world leaders to not ignore the “elephant in the room” — climate change.

For more information, images and videos please visit EARTH.350.ORG

If you enjoyed this article, the Sifter highly recommends: REBRANDING THE BP LOGO: THE 25 FUNNIEST AND MOST CREATIVE

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