What’s been your best human-to-earth experience in your life? Jumping off a rock into the ocean? Playing with a kitten? Lying in a meadow of daisies? Standing on top of a mountain? Smelling a tangerine? Think about the thing you think the world is worth saving for and what you would miss if the earth turned into a barren, smoking husk. What’s so great about silly old planet Earth anyway?
This is a quandary we put to No Planet No Fun, a collective of 45 artists creating refreshingly positive, upbeat work for an exhibition designed to highlight the effects of climate change. Choosing to communicate the dangers of climate change using positivity rather than harrowing videos of icebergs breaking, cities flooding/burning and polar bears dying, they’re still ultimately spreading a message of doom; but in a different way that might just get through to people.
Here’s what No Planet No Fun think Earth is worth saving for.
I think the best thing about our planet is the views, especially the breathtaking mountain views. The mountains, man… there’s something magical and mystical and overwhelming and heartwarming about staring at them. They’re almost the oldest “beings” on the planet. It’s like staring straight at your soul. Looking at them is like longing and loving at the same time. It gives me butterflies in my stomach and sends chills down my spine just thinking about it.
One of my favorite experiences is painting graffiti at midnight in a forgotten place, with my friends, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nature. It’s when I feel most connected to Earth. It makes me feel free. I think nature and freedom are really connected. I hope someday someone will discover a new planet where happiness and feelings are more important than money.
If the world ended I’d really miss fruit. They’re the most delicious things on earth and they can grow only with sun and water.
The best thing about planet Earth is art: it’s our universal language. It helps us to understand feelings and other cultures, just by using materials and colors.
Plants! I already miss them as I live in Antwerp and it’s not very green. I really noticed the difference when I was visiting Amsterdam recently; the people there have lots of potted plants clumped together in front of their houses. They have more parks and a big botanical garden with a steamy greenhouse. I love all of the weird plants in there, from the fluffy little cacti to the spiky, two meter-high gunnera that resembles prehistoric rhubarb. My uncle planted one in his garden and we really believed that it ate little children. Where I live now, we don't have enough room for a gunnera, sadly. But we have spurge plants with exploding seeds, that's nice too.
I grew up in England, in the West Country, surrounded by hills, valleys, fields and trees. We lived in a cottage a couple centuries old and in the garden, underneath the soil, were remnants of belongings of past occupants. Victorian and Edwardian pottery, discarded animal bones, the odd shotgun shell (that might have been more modern). Despite the layers of history underneath, the ground had always buried it down and regrown anew on top unperturbed. I don't really know if it will be able to do this when Earth is a scorched wasteland, but if it eventually does then I hope our layer of plastic detritus will be a permanent lesson for the Alien archaeologists trying to find out what happened.
Matthew the Horse
Our local wood is ancient, which means it’s always been a wood
Since maps began at least, around 1600
But who knows how old really?
I take a run to the top and back
Lumbering bulk, padding along. Blood flow and letting go.
An antidote to things and wanting and more
A conker in my pocket
A fallen tree
A wagtail by the stream
Each season a prompt for my own renewal and entropy
There is an echo inside me, that this place is familiar
A reassurance that we are all wild things
In an ancient kind of way
I've become a mother recently, so for me it’s the creation of a human or animal: the idea of new life. I think it's the most simultaneously brutal and beautiful thing I've ever witnessed. How creation can be something so small and perfect. How new life can come out of oneself.
I mean, who even likes nature anyway? Yes, some places on earth are beautiful, but if you take a closer look it’s nothing more than a bunch of mute plants and stupid animals. Have you ever seen a pony taking a selfie?! As far as I can see, it wasn’t cats and dogs who created the nuclear bomb.
If you ask me, it seems that the main reason why fish complain so much about all the plastic bottles in the ocean is because they’re all empty, so they have no choice but to stick with their disgusting, salty water.
The greatest thing about planet Earth is humankind, for sure. We’re friendly to each other, generous with the planet that birthed us and, more than anything, we are the only ones actually able to deeply modify our environment.
The greatest thing about planet earth is life: our experience in this place, the obstacles that shape us, the sad times, the happy times, and the fact that we share our lives with other species and other people with different cultures and ways of thinking. Isn’t it time for us to understand that we are the planet, that we are the problem but we are also the solution and that we’re all here together? I hope that one day we will be visited by more evolved beings from other planets and on that day there will be no more borders or races, because we will all be earthlings. Maybe then we will value our planet as it deserves.
It amazes me how our planet provides us with the possibility to produce our own food. It’s magic! Growing my own supplies gives me the most fulfilling feeling ever. Plants are the best tool and lesson the planet has given to us. We must pay attention to nature’s ways and learn to apply it to the madness of civilization.
In my grandmother’s orchard there’s a huge old mulberry tree. In summer it produces long juicy mulberries. They’re difficult to pick because you have to climb very high. My cousin and I always climbed in our oldest clothes, because the berries exploded so easily. By the time we were finished we were covered in the red juice of the mulberries. My mother would make a cake with the berries we took home to her. It was delicious. The leaves of the tree I took to my schoolmates to feed our pet silkworms. We all loved those fat silkworms!
There are things on our planet that are completely unique and memorable, beautiful and unrepeatable. One of the things I like the best is spending hours “investigating” (I say investigate but it’s just me with a basic snorkelling kit) the seabed, discovering unknown fish and animals and plants and then returning to land to quickly draw everything in my notebook. After the summer, I end up having two kinds of memories: the one I lived through using my eyes and the one I can revisit through the pages of the notebook.
Swimming with my boyfriend in the Ardèche river in France while looking at its incredible, lunar landscapes is my best human-to-nature experience. To me, Earth did really well to make water. And boyfriends.
But disregarding the physical, I’d miss being able to wake up and be excited that bigger and better things lie ahead. The future has always held the promise of awesomeness until recent years and I really hope we can flip that. Not forgetting that cats and memes were created on earth.
I grew up in Paris so I didn’t have too much contact with real nature. Because of that, I am filled with incredible emotion if I stand in front of, say, an empty field. The greatest thing about planet Earth is that we can’t control her. She’s too classy.
I think the greatest thing about planet Earth is that it’s home to all of us. It’s an incredibly beautiful, big home with a lovely yard, a garden to plant tomatoes and carrots and all kinds of fruits, plenty of colorful flowers, a huge hairy dog playing with a ball, a luxury pool to swim in, a terrace to drink beers on with your friends on sunny afternoons…you know, just the dream place to live and have fun!
Unfortunately if we continue to live the way we do, this home won't be here for long. The plants will stop growing, the swing sets will be covered with dust, it will all just be a ruin! We should all help to clean it up and take care of it before it’s too late. It’s easy to do: we just need to take small actions by changing our everyday habits. So...what are we waiting for?