A participatory project that invited the public to discover a new world view.
“Today, ‘the world as we know it’ is a phrase of the past. The current health crisis has brought our societies close to a halt, affecting our economies, our freedoms, and even our social ties. We must take the time to empathise with all those struck by the crisis and also seize this opportunity to imagine together the earth that we want to inhabit in the future – in all its wonders and beauty, in the face of all the challenges ahead of us.” – Olafur Eliasson
Earth perspectives was shared by millions around the world on Earth Day 2020. A series of nine world views over Earth, the project encapsulates how maps, space, and the earth itself are human constructs, which we have the power to see from other perspectives, whether individually or collectively.
The piece, which includes views of earth from the Great Barrier Reef, the Ganges River, Chernobyl, and the Greenland ice sheet, seeks to provoke the viewer into recalibrating their relationship with how they see the world.
A multidisciplinary artist, Olafur Eliasson has long been using art to bring the public’s attention to the climate crisis: His work Ice Watch brought melting icebergs from Greenland to Copenhagen in 2014 and to Paris on the occasion of the COP21 Climate Conference in 2015. Eliasson is also the co-founder of Little Sun, a company that provides clean, affordable energy to communities without access to eletricity.
- The Earth viewed over the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms, now dying due to human activity and mass coral bleaching.
The Earth viewed over the Great Barrier Reef, Australia from Studio Olafur Eliasson on Vimeo.
- The Earth viewed over the Mariana Trench, Pacific Ocean
The deepest trench on Earth, reaching almost 11,000 meters below sea level. Despite its extremity, both living organisms and human-made plastics have been found at its bottom.
The Earth viewed over the Mariana Trench, Pacific Ocean from Studio Olafur Eliasson on Vimeo.
- The Earth viewed over Yakutia, in Siberia, Russia
Rising temperatures are thawing permafrost in this remote region, deforming landscapes, releasing large quantities of methane, and disrupting animal migration patterns.
The Earth viewed over Yakutia, in Siberia, Russia from Studio Olafur Eliasson on Vimeo.
- The Earth viewed over the Ganges River, India
A sacred waterway granted the same legal rights as a human being by an Indian court in 2017.
The Earth viewed over the Ganges River, India from Studio Olafur Eliasson on Vimeo.
- The Earth viewed over the Simien Mountains, Ethiopia
One of the rare places in Africa where snow falls regularly, this range is part of the Ethiopian Highlands, known as the ‘Roof of Africa’.
The Earth viewed over the Simien Mountains, Ethiopia from Studio Olafur Eliasson on Vimeo.
- The Earth viewed over Chernobyl, in Pripyat, Ukraine
The site of the worst nuclear disaster in history, where rare and endangered species now thrive in the absence of humans.
The Earth viewed over Chernobyl, in Pripyat, Ukraine from Studio Olafur Eliasson on Vimeo.
- The Earth viewed over the Greenland ice sheet
A continent-wide ice sheet produced by falling snow over millions of years, now melting at staggering rates due to human-induced climate change.
The Earth viewed over the Greenland ice sheet from Studio Olafur Eliasson on Vimeo.
- The Earth viewed over Ecuador
The first country in the world to recognize Rights of Nature in their Constitution, ratified in 2008. Nature has the “right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles”.
The Earth viewed over Ecuador from Studio Olafur Eliasson on Vimeo.
- The Earth viewed over the South Pole
The pole is at the heart of the virtually uninhabited continent of Antarctica, a vital ice-covered wildlife haven that is under threat from rapid warming and ice loss.
In Conversation: Olafur Eliasson and Hans Ulrich Obrist