Carbon footprint for Earth Speakr

Julie’s Bicycle has produced a carbon footprint for Earth Speakr, the artwork from Studio Olafur Eliasson co-created with children and young people from across the world.

A digital platform that invites young people to speak up for the planet and the future they want, Earth Speakr consists of a playful app, an interactive website, AR (augmented reality) experience and audio-visual presentations in the 24 official languages of the European Union.

Julie’s Bicycle’s work with Studio Olafur Eliasson to understand the climate change impact of Earth Speakr looking at both physical and digital impacts from October 2019 to December 2020, covering the development phase and first six months of the artwork.

The digital footprint was developed with advice and support from experts on digital technology and sustainability from the University of Bristol: Chris Preist, Professor of Sustainability and Computer Systems and Daniel Schien, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science both with the Department of Computer Science, who provided pro-bono advice, and Paul Shabajee, Research Fellow. Chris, Dan and Paul are part of the team involved with DIMPACT, a collaboration between computer scientists and eleven media companies helping the media industry understand and manage the significant carbon impacts of digital content.

“Calculating Earth Speakr’s carbon footprint has been a pioneering, complex and detailed piece of work. It is the result of a unique collaboration between Studio Olafur Eliasson, Julie’s Bicycle and experts from University of Bristol’s Department of Computer Science. While the final footprint is, in the grander scheme of things, not huge, the insights gained not only inform our understanding of the impacts of digital culture but also what we can do about it. And we are now, for the first time, in a position to explore how to make this approach more easily replicable for the creative and cultural community.”

Claire Buckley programme lead, Julie’s Bicycle. 

Julie’s Bicycle and Studio Olafur Eliasson have collaborated over several years to understand the environmental impacts of a number of the artist’s works (Waterfall, Tate Modern 2019; Ice Watch, Tate Modern and Bloomberg London, 2018; & Ice Watch, during the 2015 global climate talks in Paris).

Image: copyright Olafur Eliasson, Earth Speakr, 2020

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