Consciousness

Open Call for Climate Change Art

“Calling artists to sketch a climate change design that will be created

using thousands of people in an iconic place threatened by climate change.”

***Deadline: September 6 2010 (midnight PST)***

Introduction

In November 2010, 350.org will organize 20 simultaneous public art pieces that are massive enough to be seen from space and located on the front-lines of the climate crisis – our sinking coastlines, endangered forests, melting glaciers, and polluted cities. We’re looking to recruit top and up-and-coming artists to design these images.  Each public art piece will be photographed by satellite and on site. The images will be widely distributed to mainstream media outlets around the world. 350.org is one of the few organizations in the world with the grassroots network to pull off such an ambitious project. In 2009, we organized over 5,200 events in more than 180 countries, what CNN dubbed “the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.”

The Goal

To pierce the consciousness of the world on the eve of the next round of the United Nation Climate Talks, that we need action from our world’s leaders to get us to 350.

What the *%#? is 350?

350 is the parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere that we need to ensure that life as we currently know it continues. Some say it’s the most important number in the world.  In 2008 NASA’s James Hansen reported that we need to keep the CO2 level in the atmosphere below 350 parts per million if we want a planet “similar to the one on which civilization developed, and to which life is adapted.”  We’re at 390 now. Yikes.

To learn more about 350 please see below or visit: www.350.org

Your Role

We invite you to sketch a climate change inspired design that we will create using thousands of people in an iconic place threatened by climate change.  Your design will be captured via satellite and shared with the world.

GUIDELINES

Below are some basic parameters to consider for creating the design.

MATERIALS – We respect that each artist works within their own medium, but for this particular project, we would like to incorporate the people in 350’s amazing international grassroots network to realize your design, in essence have people physically make up some or all of your design with their bodies. 350.org can organize several thousand people to participate.  Because the designs will be captured from the sky, designs that have sharp contrast and bright colors are more likely to pop and be picked up by satellite.  Designs can also be a combination of humans + materials.

SIZE – The ideal minimum size for capturing the art via satellite is roughly equivalent to a soccer field,

e.g. 110 meters x 70 meters (120 yards x 75 yards).

The Nitty Gritty of “Sculpting with People”:  Each pixel in the satellite photo is 60cm x 60cm which translates into all “lines” for forming the designs ideally being at least 2 meters x 2 meters. If you are using humans, this means each “line” should be at least 5-10 people wide, (note this assumes the people are standing).  If your design involves people lying down or incorporating materials into the design, these numbers might shift.

TIME OF DAY – The satellite images can be taken during the day or at night. (If you’re considering a nighttime installation involving illumination, we encourage artists to consider light sources that are not energy intensive.)

“350” We encourage (but do not require), artists to find a way to incorporate this critical number into their piece. If artists opt not to incorporate 350 into the design, we ask that the number be placed on the side as a signature.  Artists can also engage traditional number systems to display the image, or investigate the concept of ¨parts per million¨.

Note: In order for 350 to be captured by satellite, the number needs to be at least 50ft x 30ft or 15m x 40m

LOCATIONS

Below is a list of the current locations where we will be creating the designs as well as climate change issues important to these regions:

United States

Los Angeles, California

Desert, New Mexico

Gulf of Mexico (most likely on the water collaborating with fisherman and fishing boats)

Midwest – location tbd

Mexico

Mexico City

Cancun (issue – sea level rise)

Dominican Republic

Bolivia

Altiplano near La Paz

Brazil

Clearcut in Jungle (issue – deforestation) or City – Sao Paulo

Iceland

Note because of limited daylight in November this will most likely be a light installation

Spain

Barcelona

Egypt

Desert outside of Cairo

South Africa

TBD

India

Mumbai (issue water and sea level rise)

Maldives (issue sea level rise)

Philippines

China

Shanghai or Beijing

Australia

Antarctica (issue massive ice melt)

350.ORG SUPPORT

Although 350.org cannot monetarily compensate artists, we will give artists full recognition for their designs as well as support and augment artists’ work in a multitude of ways:

  • REALIZE YOUR CONCEPT

350.org has an international grassroots network of people who can realize your concept.

  • MEDIA EXPOSURE

350.org has a stellar communications team with a successful track record of garnering press for their international actions.  For example, last October, 350.org coordinated 5200 simultaneous demonstrations around the world, what CNN called ‘the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history’ on any issue.  Due to 350.org communications team, these actions were also widely covered by a wealth of media outlets from local to global media giants like CNN.

350.ORG

350.org is an international campaign that’s building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis–the solutions that science and justice demand.

Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.

Our focus is on the number 350–as in parts per million CO2. If we can’t get below that, scientists say, the damage we’re already seeing from global warming will continue and accelerate.  But 350 is more than a number–it’s a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.

CRITERIA

Entries will be judged using the following criteria:

  • a. Effectiveness in communicating a climate change message with a creative image.
  • b. Likelihood the design can be created in the specific sites 350.org has identified.
  • c. Likelihood the image will easily be captured by satellite according to the aforementioned guidelines.

ARTWORK

Designs must be original work created by the artists.  By submitting a design to 350.org’s EARTH, artists are granting 350.org permission to use this design for the 350.org EARTH project.  350.org will give full credit to the artists whose designs we use.

METHOD for SUBMITTING ART

Please note that we will only be able to accept online submissions: www.350.org/earth

FINAL DESIGNS

We will be contacting artists whose designs we will be creating, Monday, September 13, 2010.  Please note that due to our limited capacity, we will be unable to respond to non-finalists.

QUESTIONS

For questions please e-mail EARTH@350.org.  Please note it may take us several days to respond to your questions.

THANK YOU

350.org would like to thank the Artist Philip Krohn who conceptualized the EARTH logo, for granting 350.org permission to use this image for 350.org’s EARTH.

Prix Pictet winner: Nadav Kander’s Yangtze river project

kander
Chongqing XI, Series: Yangtze, The Long River, Chongqing, China 2007 by Nadav Kander

Just over a week ago Nadav Kander was named as winner of the excellent 2009 Prix Pictet, the prize given to photography on the theme of environmental sustainability. Last year’s shortlist, which included Benoit Aquin, Edward Burtynsky, David Maisel and others, produced a really astonishing collection of images on the theme of Water; it showed how powerful photography can still be when it inhabits the zone between art and documentary.

This year the theme,  Earth, produced equally sock-knocking results; Britain’s Nadav Kander was up against Darren Almond, Edward Burtynsky (again) and  Andreas Gursky and others. I’ve blogged about the brilliant shortlist previously.

Maybe because they’re part documentarists, there’s something very pithy about photographer’s artists’ statements that I really like. Here’s part of Kander’s artists’ statement about the whole Yangtze, The Long River project:

The Yangtze River, which forms the premise to this body of work, is the main artery that flows 4100miles (6500km) across China, travelling from its furthest westerly point in Qinghai Province to Shanghai in the east. The river is embedded in the consciousness of the Chinese, even for those who live thousands of miles from the river. It plays a significant role in both the spiritual and physical life of the people.

More people live along its banks than live in the USA, one in every eighteen people on the planet.

Using the river as a metaphor for constant change, I have photographed the landscape and people along its banks from mouth to source.

Importantly for me I worked intuitively, trying not to be influenced by what I already knew about the country. I wanted to respond to what I found and felt and to seek out the iconography that allowed me to frame views that make the images unique to me.

After several trips to different parts of the river, it became clear that what I was responding to and how I felt whilst being in China was permeating into my pictures; a formalness and unease, a country that feels both at the beginning of a new era and at odds with itself. China is a nation that appears to be severing its roots by destroying its past in the wake of the sheer force of its moving “forward” at such an astounding and unnatural pace. A people scarring their country and a country scarring its people…

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

jakub szczesny: water purification island

jakub szczesny of the collective centrala designed this floating island where visitors can purify water
through exercising. the installation located on the vistula riverside is part of the synchronicity architectural
and arts festival in warsaw.

‘I’ve proposed a systematic approach: a water treatment plant powered by human muscles by
warsaw inhabitants performing fitness exercises and pumping poluted river water via kinetic pumps
integrated in the fitness machines to four filters and four tanks to a fountain basin at the very end
of the cycle. the whole installation is supposed to perform a role of a propaganda tool changing
the consciousness of warsawers by showing the efficiency of human action in the process of
puryfing the waters of their river. what’s meaningful, is the fact, that many poles, even after twenty years
of liberalization, still don’t believe in their own potential as individuals or members of commuities,
in positively changing their life environment.’ –  jakub szczesny

more information and image can be found here.