Why is the sky blue? Why does the sky matter?
Inspiring citizen engagements on global sustainability. Like SkyDayProject
To partner with artists and scientists interested in promoting greater understanding of our sky. From the surface of the earth to the edge of space - How does our sky function? What are its vulnerabilities? Why should people care? And what are the implications for our definition of community?
As artists it moves us to observe it, paint it, photograph it and write and sing about it. As scientists it stokes our curiosities and pushes us to understand how it functions.
We want to encourage people to view themselves as members of a larger global community that must unite with a common will to protect our sky for the benefit of all.
Our sky wraps completely around our planet so everyone can see it and feel it. All you have to do is look up or breathe in! Yet this sharing of our sky presents us with great challenges since what we do to it in one place directly impacts our sky across the globe.
SkyDay initiatives combine art and science to challenge us to think in new ways about our relationship to the sky.
Ben founded SkyDay after hearing Yo-Yo Ma speak about the need for artists to find new ways of using whatever skills they may have to serve community, especially young people. Ben already knew what he wanted to talk about. The environment has been the subject of his work for over 30 years. Looking out the plane window heading home Ben had a something of a vision. He imagined people all over the world joining together to make a citizen artwork in support of our sky. People were looking up, photographing it's dynamic changes and posting their photos to an evolving sky mosaic that was as beautiful and varied as the sky itself. This citizen art stood as an emblem showing how important the sky was to them, how it connected them as one global family and how they wanted to come together as an enlightened generation to solve the global warming crisis.
Ben asked his wife Judy Grimmer and friends Sascha Bopp and Chris Frye to help him flesh out the idea. They thought the project sounded like a portal to something. But a portal to what? They decided to build an interactive educational platform so artists and scientists could collaborate on global initiatives that would inspire greater understanding of all things sky. Such initiatives would combine art and science to teach about how our sky functions and what its vulnerabilities are and encourage participants to think of themselves as being part of a global family with a shared problem to solve. To guide these initiatives they created a SkyTeam - a team of artists and scientists charged with advising on the development of SkyDay initiatives. Astronaut and artist Nicole Stott and Northwestern University climate scientist Daniel Horton were the first to join Ben on the SkyTeam and together they worked to define SkyDay's educational goals. Soon afterwards they were joined by atmospheric scientist, University of Illinois Professor and IPCC lead author Don Wuebbles, scientist, poet and lecturer in science communication Sam Illingworth and poet, performer and producer Dan Simpson.