I’m extremely honoured to become a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador. Urgent climate action is needed and the best roadmap for our activities is the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As an artist, I believe that culture offers access to and a felt understanding of the challenges at hand, and I look forward to joining the United Nations Development Programme in working towards these goals
Today at 2:30pm New York time (8:30pm Berlin time), Olafur will be speaking at the Social Good Summit in New York. We encourage everyone to tune in! To watch, just go to: mashable.com/sgs-livestream/ @unfoundation
New season of Netflix's show Abstract premieres on 25 September
Live from SOE is a series of livestream episodes, conceived for Olafur’s exhibition 'In real life' at Tate Modern. Streaming every other week for 30 minutes directly from the studio, this is a chance to give our audience a view into our everyday life and what it means to make artworks, exhibitions, commissions, and works in public space with Olafur. Our second episode – titled 'Advanced geometry‘ – looked at how we work with geometry research and model-making, and how this research is eventually turned into artworks.
This video is an excerpt from the full-length episode - you can watch it on soe.tv
Seeing spheres, 2019, Chase Center, San Francisco. Photo: Matthew Millman
Seeing spheres, 2019 - unveiled today at Chase Center, San Francisco
Seeing spheres, 2019, Chase Center, San Francisco
Human time is movement (winter), Human time is movement (spring), Human time is movement (summer), 2019- part of Y/our future is now, Museu Serralves, Porto. Photo: Filipe Braga
Bowing my head to mourn a beautiful part of nature which has died because of human action is one of the saddest experiences. It is also a wake up call to tackle the human crisis we call a climate crisis - Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland
Detail from The glacier series, 2019 (Rótarjökull)
We desperately need leaders right now who are willing to recognize the climate emergency that we are facing and one that is getting worse with catastrophic consequences. Climate change represents the biggest human rights challenge of our time and we appeal to the Nordic heads of State to reflect this emergency and stand up to leaders who continue to suffer from a very bad case of cognitive dissonance - Kumi Naidoo, Secretary-General of Amnesty International
Detail from The glacier series, 1999 (Rótarjökull)
On Sunday, we are mourning the passing of a glacier in a ceremony of commemoration unlike any in human history. The glacier, situated north-east of Reykjavik, was known as OK, and it has melted away and is no more. This is a tragic event, not just for my fellow Icelanders, but for the entire world. Something that seemed eternal has vanished for ever – as a result of human activity and inaction.
A plaque at the site will mark this point in time. It sounds a warning, and is a call to arms, to every human being on this planet. Andri Snær Magnason, the Icelandic writer, conceived the inscription around a question to future generations: “We know what is happening and what needs to be done,” he wrote. “Only you know if we did it.”
The poignancy of this moment must not go to waste. On Monday, the prime ministers of the Nordic countries will gather in Iceland for their annual meeting, with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel as their guest. Climate change is on the agenda. There could hardly be a more appropriate moment to take the words on the plaque to heart. To show their recognition of the gravity of the situation, the Nordic countries must jointly declare a climate emergency.
The Nordic countries have powerful shared traditions and values – of democracy, social welfare, and culture. They are all striving to shape a strong environmental profile that combines not only giving up some goods and services that we have come to take for granted, but also enacting progressive policies that encourage investment in the green innovations that will contribute to our continued prosperity.
On this sad occasion, I call on the Nordic prime ministers – Mette Frederiksen (DK), Stefan Löfven (SE), Erna Solberg (NO), Katrín Jakobsdóttir (IS), Antti Rinne (FI), Aksel V. Johannesen (Faroe Islands), Kim Kielsen (Greenland), and Katrin Sjögren (Åland) – to act. They have a moral responsibility towards the future generations of the countries they represent. They also have an opportunity to forge a coalition that will show the leadership on climate change so badly needed in the world today.
Every glacier lost reflects our inaction. Every glacier saved will be a testament to the moral courage and sense of purpose that we can muster in the face of this emergency. One day, instead of mourning the loss of more glaciers, we must be able to stand tall in celebration of their survival - Olafur Eliasson
Detail from The glacier series, 1999 (Tungnakvíslarjökull)