In November 2010, 350.org organized an art exhibit visible from space.
Working with artists in 16 different communities and thousands of volunteers, 350.org coordinated massive human sculptures that were photographed from satellite.
“Art can convey in a different way than science the threat that climate change poses to our planet,” said 350.org founder and environmental author Bill McKibben. “The world’s best scientists have tried to wake-up politicians to the climate crisis, now we’re counting on artists to help.” Each art installation was designed to be large enough to be visible from space and the majority of the projects were photographed by satellites operated by a Colorado based company, Digital Globe. The satellites traveled at 17,000 miles per hour nearly 400 miles above the Earth, giving organizers a window of a few minutes to make sure their art installation was a success. The project began on November 20, 2010 with a human “flash flood” in Santa Fe, New Mexico and an artistic recreation of a young climate refugee’s face in Delta de Ebro, Spain. Following events included a Solar Eagle taking flight in Los Angeles; a “Cool Roof” mural in New York City; a giant green footprint in Vancouver; an organic farm planted in the shape of a “350” in Texas; a sinking home on the beaches of the Dominican Republic; a human hurricane in Mexico City; an enormous elephant in New Delhi; a scarab beetle in the desert outside Cairo; a polar bear on a melting glacier in Iceland; and, in an event conceived of by Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke, an image in the UK of King Canute, a legendary ruler who attempted to hold back the sea.
Click here to see photos from this enormous collaborative action.
“The first pictures of Earth from space helped launch the modern environmental movement,” said McKibben, at the time. “We hope these art pieces can help spark a new movement to solve the climate crisis. Art is not a substitute for political action, but it can help build a public movement that can begin to apply real pressure.”
More information on 350.org and DigitalGlobe: 350.org uses the internet and creative campaigns to build a grassroots climate movement across the planet. Over the last two years, the campaign has organized more than 15,000 events in 188 countries. 350.org is named after the goal of reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere from its current level of 390 parts per million to below 350 ppm, what scientists say is the safe upper limit for the planet. 350.org was founded by American writer and environmentalist and a team of college friends in 2008. DigitalGlobe is a leading global provider of commercial high-resolution earth imagery products and services. DigitalGlobe’s advanced satellite constellation provides insight and support for a variety of programs related to environmental monitoring, civil agencies, mapping and analysis, infrastructure management, and Internet portals and navigation technology. Countries around the world use DigitalGlobe’s imagery to track and manage natural resources, prioritize infrastructure projects, and mitigate the environmental impact of development. DigitalGlobe’s daily documentation of the Earth provides insight into the changing environment, from natural disasters to glacial change and composition, to the health of vegetation and crops, and to the effects of deforestation.