Greetings. We are Seth Baum and Inés Garcia. We are a scientist and an artist. And we both care about climate change. Seth cares about climate change because of the threat it poses to humanity, to other happy living things, and to their future in the universe. Inés cares about climate change because it affects every person and living being on the planet and we, as a civilization, are far too intelligent to continue contributing to the destruction of the endless resources on this planet.
We made Osomocene Productions because we believe that humanity can make a world that has a healthy environment and is still enjoyable for us humans. Indeed, we coined the word Osomocene to mean the Age of Awesome – awesome for humans and awesome for the environment. We intend the Osomocene as the successor to the current era, the Anthropocene, which is defined by human disruption of the environment. With Osomocene Productions, we want to envision this age of awesome and communicate the vision to other people so that together we can make the vision a reality.
Osomocene Productions articulates its vision for a better world through short-form online videos. Short form videos are fun and easy to watch, and they offer us the chance to talk about a variety of subjects. By putting them online, anyone can watch them, and who knows, they may even ‘go viral’ and get seen by many. (Click here to share our videos!) But most importantly, short-form videos let us create everyday scenarios that depict positive ways to help with climate change that everyone can take part in.
Our collaboration brings together Seth’s research and Ines’s artistry. Seth’s research covers two important areas. First is the science of climate change, and in particular the science of what people can do to help with climate change. Second is the science of communication, and the psychology of how communication can translate into action. Ines’s artistic sense for aesthetic quality helps us identify key themes from the research and convert them, through dramatic interpretation, into compelling story and character. Ines also manages the logistics of how to produce a film, coordinating with actors, directors, editors, and crew.
So far, we have produced one video (titled Vegetarian Cookbook) and have a second video scheduled for filming in April. Many more ideas are in the works. These videos have given us the chance to explore and refine our artistic and collaborative styles. Working together has been a tremendous growth process for both of us. We’re constantly trying out new ideas in our ongoing effort to promote a better world.
Artists and Climate Change is a blog by playwright Chantal Bilodeau that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.
“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)***
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.”
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
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.
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
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:
Los Angeles, California
Desert, New Mexico
Gulf of Mexico (most likely on the water collaborating with fisherman and fishing boats)
Midwest – location tbd
Cancun (issue – sea level rise)
Altiplano near La Paz
Clearcut in Jungle (issue – deforestation) or City – Sao Paulo
Note because of limited daylight in November this will most likely be a light installation
Desert outside of Cairo
Mumbai (issue water and sea level rise)
Maldives (issue sea level rise)
Shanghai or Beijing
Antarctica (issue massive ice melt)
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
For questions please e-mail EARTH@350.org. Please note it may take us several days to respond to your questions.
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.
Bill McKibben wrote recently on Grist.org about how, over the last few years, art has been shouting increasingly stridently about climate:
That torrent of art has been, often, deeply disturbing—it should be deeply disturbing, given what we’re doing to the earth. (And none of it has quite matched the performance work that nature itself is providing. Check out, for instance, James Balog’s time-lapse photography of glaciers crashing into the sea—if we could somehow crowd that thrashing sheet of ice into the Guggenheim for a week, people would truly get it.) But for me, it’s been more comforting than disturbing, because it means that the immune system of the planet is finally kicking in.
Artists, in a sense, are the antibodies of the cultural bloodstream. They sense trouble early, and rally to isolate and expose and defeat it, to bring to bear the human power for love and beauty and meaning against the worst results of carelessness and greed and stupidity. So when art both of great worth, and in great quantities, begins to cluster around an issue, it means that civilization has identified it finally as a threat. Artists and scientists perform this function most reliably; politicians are a lagging indicator.
I wonder, how true is this? Is identifying artists as the “antibodies of the cultural bloodstream”a hopelessly romantic idea, part of McKibben’s relentless optimism, an optimism that has sustained him for twenty years and more as a campaigner? Or will the next few years prove him right in his faith that, not only are artists making work of “great worth, and in great quantities” about the issue , but that art still has a privileged role in how society concieves of itself.
It’s certainly a role that many established artists would feel extremely uncomfortable with; but maybe this isn’t the time for such niceities.