Olafur Eliasson has teamed up with Serpentine to launch a new participatory artwork titled Earth Perspectives. Launching today on Earth Day, the project is a part of Serpentine's 50th anniversary Back to Earth program featuring artworks that address the climate emergency.

Eliasson's Earth Perspectives consists of nine images of the Earth, each pinpointing a different location across the globe. After staring at the dot for roughly ten seconds and then focusing on a blank surface, an afterimage appears in complementary colors, literally giving you a new world view.

"Today, 'the world as we know it' is a phrase of the past,’" said Eliasson. "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 empathize 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."

"Earth Perspectives envisions the earth we want to live on together by welcoming multiple perspectives – not only human perspectives but also those of plants, animals, and nature," he went on to add. "A glacier’s perspective deviates from that of a human. The same goes for a river. On Earth Day, I want to advocate – as on any other day – that we recognize these various perspectives and, together, celebrate their co-existence."

Earth Perspectives begins with the Earth viewed over the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, before transitioning to areas such as the Ganges River in India, Chernobyl, in Pripyat, Ukraine, and the South Pole, among other locations. The artwork ultimately shows how we are all capable of seeing from different perspectives.

For more on Olafur Eliasson's Earth Day initiative, follow here.

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1/9: Today we’re launching ‘Earth perspectives’, a new artwork conceived by Olafur for Earth Day 2020. It’s comprised of nine animations featuring nine different views over the Earth that we’ll post throughout the day. We’re sharing this work as part of the Serpentine Galleries’ ‘Back to Earth’ initiative, a new, multi-year project that invites artists, scientists, architects, musicians, and more to make work that responds to the climate emergency. Olafur originally conceived one Earth perspectives map for Real Review, spring issue 2020, a magazine edited by Jack Self. At the centre of the Earth view above is the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. This is the world’s biggest single structure made entirely by living organisms and is the most extensive reef system on the planet. It is also the most biologically diverse ecosystem in the world, home to vulnerable and endangered species, many of which can be found nowhere else. The reef has long been culturally and spiritually significant to Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander peoples, so it marks an important intersection between fragile cultural and biological heritages. This ‘Great Barrier’ not only is a physical threshold in the ocean – it also represents an ecological threshold that humans are pushing the limits of. Currently facing its third mass bleaching event in five years, the Great Barrier Reef may already be at a tipping point, and projections warn that global warming could destroy the whole reef by 2050. To curb the prognosis of catastrophic collapse, the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP) has been weighing proposals for methods to reduce local water temperatures by blocking sunlight, for example, with human-made fog, with ‘cloud brightening’, and by covering the ocean surface with a molecule-thick layer of calcium carbonate. While these measures could buy us valuable time, the experts emphasise that none of these technologies are substitutes for the only truly effective solution: ambitious legislation for global emissions reduction. @serpentineuk #earthperspectives #earthday2020 #backtoearth

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2/9: Today we’re launching ‘Earth perspectives’, a new artwork conceived by Olafur for Earth Day 2020. It’s comprised of nine animations featuring nine different views over the Earth that we’ll post throughout the day. We’re sharing this work as part of the Serpentine Galleries’ ‘Back to Earth’ initiative, a new, multi-year project that invites artists, scientists, architects, musicians, and more to make work that responds to the climate emergency. Olafur originally conceived one Earth perspectives map for Real Review, spring issue 2020, a magazine edited by Jack Self. At the centre of the Earth view above is the Mariana Trench, in the western Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines. It is the deepest trench on Earth, reaching almost 11 kilometres below sea level. If Mount Everest were dropped into the Mariana Trench, its peak would still be over 1 kilometre underwater. Despite the trench’s geological and environmental extremity, both living organisms and human-made plastics have been found at its bottom – even the deepest point on earth is not beyond the reach of life or pollution. The deep ocean is a world without sunlight, of freezing temperatures and immense pressure, and it has remained largely unexplored by humans – ‘aquanauts’ – until recently. Some call it the Earth’s last frontier. As we learn more about what goes on in the dark, high-pressure depths of the Mariana Trench, we gain a window not only into our past and how life on Earth first took hold, but also into the capacity for adaptation and resilience that the creatures living in one of the most inhospitable places on the planet display. ‘“Earth perspectives” makes use of a simple optical phenomenon – the afterimage – to create a bridge between the familiar and the unknown. The artwork envisions the earth we want to live on together by welcoming multiple perspectives – not only human perspectives but also those of nature. A glacier’s perspective deviates from that of a human. The same goes for a river. On Earth Day, I want to advocate that we recognise these various perspectives and, together, celebrate their co-existence.’ – Olafur @serpentineuk #earthperspectives #earthday2020 #backtoearth

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3/9: Today we’re launching ‘Earth perspectives’, a new artwork conceived by Olafur for Earth Day 2020. It’s comprised of nine animations featuring nine different views over the Earth that we’ll post throughout the day. We’re sharing this work as part of the Serpentine Galleries’ ‘Back to Earth’ initiative, a new, multi-year project that invites artists, scientists, architects, musicians, and more to make work that responds to the climate emergency. Olafur originally conceived one Earth perspectives map for Real Review, spring issue 2020, a magazine edited by Jack Self. At the centre of the Earth view above is Yakutia, in north-eastern Siberia, Russia. Rising temperatures are thawing permafrost in this remote region, deforming landscapes, releasing large quantities of methane, and disrupting animal migration patterns. The Arctic, which encircles a substantial part of Siberia, including the remote Yakutia region, is warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the world, which means that permafrost is not so permanent anymore. Permafrost covers about two thirds of Siberia and 90 percent of Yakutia, so thawing in this part of the world is far-reaching. As the earth softens, it reveals ancient megafauna with the fur still intact. Sudden geologic shifts induce massive underground chambers of gas to burp to the surface and then crater with little warning. Dwindling indigenous tribes face little choice but to uproot their villages, ravaged by ever more intense spring flooding. Siberia has long been a familiar, often pejorative, synonym for extreme remoteness – Yakutia even more so within Russia. Its place name alone used to be a prison sentence for humans, but over the last century it has shifted from a terminus of exile to a home of de facto sanctuary – for both wildlife and indigenous cultures. As Yakutia is further threatened and transformed by global warming, so too will these unique pockets of life. @serpentineuk #earthperspectives #earthday2020 #backtoearth #ArtforGlobalGoals

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4/9: Today we’re launching ‘Earth perspectives’, a new artwork conceived by Olafur for Earth Day 2020. It’s comprised of nine animations featuring nine different views over the Earth that we’ll post throughout the day. We’re sharing this work as part of the Serpentine Galleries’ ‘Back to Earth’ initiative, a new, multi-year project that invites artists, scientists, architects, musicians, and more to make work that responds to the climate emergency. Olafur originally conceived one Earth perspectives map for Real Review, spring issue 2020, a magazine edited by Jack Self. At the centre of the Earth view above is the Ganges River in India, a sacred waterway granted the same legal rights as a human being by an Indian court in 2017. Citing the similar case of the Whanganui River in New Zealand, the judges of the Uttarakhand court declared the Ganges and its tributaries to be ‘legal and living entities having the status of a legal person with all corresponding rights, duties and liabilities’. Pollution that has been choking the river for decades, creating hypoxic dead zones in some sections, can now be more meaningfully mitigated by authorities. But the verdict is more than a bureaucratic achievement – it is a symbolic feat for the rights of the nonhuman silent majority, a reflection of our changing human conceptualisation of nature itself, and a milestone for the reappraisal of human-nonhuman power dynamics. Now a legal precedent, the case of the Ganges River paves the way for further judicial recognition and protection of environmental personhood around the world, as well as future imaginings of what other entities might qualify as a ‘person’. ‘“Earth perspectives” envisions the earth we want to live on together by welcoming multiple perspectives – not only human perspectives but also those of nature. A glacier’s perspective deviates from that of a human. The same goes for a river. On Earth Day, I want to advocate - as on any other day – that we recognise these various perspectives and, together, celebrate their co-existence.’ – Olafur @serpentineuk @clientearth_ #earthperspectives #earthday2020 #backtoearth

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5/9: Today we’re launching ‘Earth perspectives’, a new artwork conceived by Olafur for Earth Day 2020. It’s comprised of nine animations featuring nine different views over the Earth that we’ll post throughout the day. We’re sharing this work as part of the Serpentine Galleries’ ‘Back to Earth’ initiative, a new, multi-year project that invites artists, scientists, architects, musicians, and more to make work that responds to the climate emergency. Olafur originally conceived one Earth perspectives map for Real Review, spring issue 2020, a magazine edited by Jack Self. At the centre of the Earth view above is the Simien Mountains, in 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’. Its vertiginous heights were formed eons ago by volcanic outpourings and uplift, as well as glacial activity, and they now precipitate a rainy season that has flooded the Nile annually since before the time of the ancient Greeks, who were puzzled by the punctual floods during the Mediterranean dry season. The unique features and climate of the Highlands eventually led to the evolution of a number of endemic wildlife species, including the gelada baboon, whose fur coat is specially adapted to the anomalously cool mountain climate bounded by the hot continent. These layered cycles of rock, climate, weather, and life are a reminder of not just the timelessness of the landscape, but also its timefulness. The mountains are a record of many different timelines, of both the living and non-living – circling, crossing, and defining each other. ‘“Earth perspectives” makes use of a simple optical phenomenon – the afterimage – to create a bridge between the familiar and the unknown. The artwork envisions the earth we want to live on together by welcoming multiple perspectives – not only human perspectives but also those of nature. A glacier’s perspective deviates from that of a human. The same goes for a river. On Earth Day, I want to advocate that we recognise these various perspectives and celebrate their co-existence.’ – Olafur @serpentineuk #earthperspectives #earthday2020 #backtoearth

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6/9: Today we’re launching ‘Earth perspectives’, a new artwork conceived by Olafur for Earth Day 2020. It’s comprised of nine animations featuring nine different views over the Earth that we’ll post throughout the day. We’re sharing this work as part of the Serpentine Galleries’ ‘Back to Earth’ initiative, a new, multi-year project that invites artists, scientists, architects, musicians, and more to make work that responds to the climate emergency. Olafur originally conceived one Earth perspectives map for Real Review, spring issue 2020, a magazine edited by Jack Self. At the centre of the Earth view above is Chernobyl, in Pripyat, Ukraine. It is the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history, where rare and endangered species now thrive in the absence of humans. After the historic meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986, the surrounding area was evacuated and has been uninhabited by humans ever since. In the immediate aftermath, radiation caused the leaves of thousands of trees to turn a rust color, lending it the nickname ‘Red Forest’. Chernobyl became synonymous with death. The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone straddles Ukraine and Belarus, and, over the decades, it has become a giant experiment in rewilding – though perhaps it hasn’t been rewilded so much as de-humaned. By definition, an exclusion zone removes people, and an unintended by-product of such a measure is space freed up for wildlife to roam. Research on the effects of the disaster has found numerous mutations in the local wildlife due to radiation, but overall not as fatal as one might expect. Today, animals that are usually scarce from human-occupied landscapes, especially larger ones like wolves, bison, and bears, are relatively abundant in the Pripyat region. Countless birds, many endangered, also make their homes there. And there is the paradox: A grave failure of advanced human technology created a human-free bubble where nonhuman life can flourish. It is a window into a world without us. @serpentineuk #earthperspectives #earthday2020 #backtoearth

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7/9: Today we’re launching ‘Earth perspectives’, a new artwork conceived by Olafur for Earth Day 2020. It’s comprised of nine animations featuring nine different views over the Earth that we’ll post throughout the day. We’re sharing this work as part of the Serpentine Galleries’ ‘Back to Earth’ initiative, a new, multi-year project that invites artists, scientists, architects, musicians, and more to make work that responds to the climate emergency. Olafur originally conceived one Earth perspectives map for Real Review, spring issue 2020, a magazine edited by Jack Self. At the centre of the Earth view above is 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. This glacial ice flows slowly towards the ocean, where it either melts or breaks apart to form icebergs. The amount of ice lost at the edges used to equal the accumulation of new snow every year, but the warmer climate has thrown the Greenland ice sheet out of balance. Currently, the amount lost each year is 200–300 billion tonnes, a rate that is expected to increase dramatically. Water from Greenland’s ice sheet raises sea level approximately 0.3 mm each year, and this amount is dramatically increasing. Were all the ice in Greenland to melt, sea level would rise 7 metres. Though sea level will continue to rise, the amount and speed can be reduced if we quickly and significantly reduce carbon emissions. Slower sea level rise would make adaptation easier, less costly, and less destructive. ‘“Earth perspectives” makes use of a simple optical phenomenon – the afterimage – to create a bridge between the familiar and the unknown. The artwork envisions the earth we want to live on together by welcoming multiple perspectives – not only human perspectives but also those of nature. A glacier’s perspective deviates from that of a human. The same goes for a river. On Earth Day, I want to advocate - as on any other day – that we recognise these various perspectives and, together, celebrate their co-existence.’ – Olafur @serpentineuk #earthperspectives #earthday2020 #backtoearth #ArtforGlobalGoals

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8/9: Today we’re launching ‘Earth perspectives’, a new artwork conceived by Olafur for Earth Day 2020. It’s comprised of nine animations featuring nine different views over the Earth that we’ll post throughout the day. We’re sharing this work as part of the Serpentine Galleries’ ‘Back to Earth’ initiative, a new, multi-year project that invites artists, scientists, architects, musicians, and more to make work that responds to the climate emergency. Olafur originally conceived one Earth perspectives map for Real Review, spring issue 2020, a magazine edited by Jack Self. At the centre of the Earth view above is Ecuador, the first country in the world to recognize Rights of Nature in their Constitution, ratified in 2008. Nature, or ‘Pachamama’, has the ‘right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles’. In a court of law, now human citizens are empowered to enforce the inalienable rights of nature, and nature itself can be named as a defendant. Coming into play here is the concept of ‘sumak kawsay’, a phrase rooted in the worldview of the Quechua peoples of the Andes. It means a harmonious way of doing things that is community oriented, ecologically balanced, and culturally sensitive – quite antithetical to individual-centric capitalism. Building on its indigenous past, Ecuador has integrated ‘sumak kawsay’ not only into its nationally codified law, which is a significant recognition of the country’s indigenous groups, but also into their vision for an eco-centric future, laying a historic precedent wide open for other countries to follow. As Ecuador’s political atmosphere changes over time, it will take a persistence of political will to continue to uphold Rights of Nature. ‘“Earth perspectives” envisions the earth we want to live on together by welcoming multiple perspectives – not only human perspectives but also those of nature. A glacier’s perspective deviates from that of a human. The same goes for a river. On Earth Day, I want to advocate - as on any other day – that we recognise these various perspectives and, together, celebrate their co-existence.’ – Olafur @serpentineuk #earthperspectives #earthday2020 #backtoearth

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9/9: Today we’re launching ‘Earth perspectives’, a new artwork conceived by Olafur for Earth Day 2020. It’s comprised of nine animations featuring nine different views over the Earth that we’ll post throughout the day. We’re sharing this work as part of the Serpentine Galleries’ ‘Back to Earth’ initiative, a new, multi-year project that invites artists, scientists, architects, musicians, and more to make work that responds to the climate emergency. Olafur originally conceived one Earth perspectives map for Real Review, spring issue 2020, a magazine edited by Jack Self. At the centre of the Earth view above is 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. This point on the map is, on one hand, a completely human construct that grants geographical importance to an otherwise featureless location on the globe. On the other hand, it was the presence of this pole in the mind’s eye that enabled early explorers to imagine Antarctica as a real place and travel there, and then for later generations to learn enough about it to know it urgently needs protecting. The pole is like a symbolic pin steadying a precarious landscape that is literally floating away as massive icebergs the size of small countries break off and drift into the ocean. Like the dot in the afterimage, the South Pole’s abstract point is a meeting place between the human mind and a profoundly real landscape that is so far away from us and yet so immediate to climate change. It is the human capacity to imagine the abstract, and to imagine the future, that will determine how the story will continue. “Earth perspectives” envisions the earth we want to live on together by welcoming multiple perspectives – not only human perspectives but also those of nature. A glacier’s perspective deviates from that of a human. The same goes for a river. On Earth Day, I want to advocate - as on any other day – that we recognise these various perspectives and, together, celebrate their co-existence.’ – Olafur @serpentineuk #earthperspectives #earthday2020 #backtoearth

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