Valencia, CA — November 2, 2023 — Earth Edition: A Festival of Eco-Consciousness, in its inaugural last month, on the campus of the iconic CalArts, premiering the Lumisphere Experience, a landmark climate visioning tool, and other innovations of radical and immersive environments, and an acclaimed mix of art, diverse discussions among communities of thinkers and makers.

Produced by Visions2030, a future-oriented initiative that harnesses the power of imagination, the 10-day festival, from September 15th to 24th, offered a constellation of experience-based interventions configured to stimulate an envisioning of new eco-possibilities.   It assembled a remarkable blend of site-specific installations, hacktivism, live performance, family activities, and engaging discussions.  In all, it joined over 70 artists, thinkers, and community-based organizations. “Earth Edition was indeed a team effort,” remarks initiative founder Carey Lovelace, "in the spirit of our future-oriented initiative, celebrating the imagination as a powerful tool for change.”

Conceived to resemble a World’s Fair with an overall theme linking together several separately run experiential nodes, each under the creative direction of a different Visions2030 team member, Earth Edition had as its centerpiece the Lumisphere, an awe-inspiring immersive environment composed of three interlocking domes ranging from 30 to 50 feet in diameter. Created in collaboration with the internationally renowned design lab Minds Over Matter, known for their work on the $2.3 billion MSG "Sphere" in Las Vegas, along with projections on the Vatican, the Empire State Building, and the Taj Mahal.

Visitors to the immersive experience included students, LA culture-goers, climate-enthusiasts, and local community members.  Said City of Santa Clarita Mayor Jason Gibbs, "Having the opportunity to experience the Lumisphere for myself was truly unforgettable.  To see my ideas, thoughts, and hopes for the future come to life in a completely immersive and multi-sensory collaboration was an impressive glimpse into the possibilities of technology and artificial intelligence.”

But Earth Edition, Coinciding with global and regional climate action summits, including California Climate Action Week (Sept. 18-24) and New York Climate Week (Sept. 17-24), Earth Edition comprised many more opportunities for engagement.  of this event endeavored to shift the narrative surrounding environmental challenges by encouraging visitors to envision and prototype new eco-outcomes.  Antonina Pawlak, MFA Music, CalArts,exclaimed: “The art that I saw brought hope, joy and the will to act into my life. This festival is amazing!  Johanna  Burton, Director, MOCA.“What a wonderful and important endeavor. My family had a great time (and yes, we did the Lumisphere too!).  “‘Visions2030: Earth Edition’ Inspires Hope in Attendees” was the headline in one local newspaper.

Among its other nodes, Earth Edition also featured the Indigenous Deep Knowledge Circle, where visitors were able to gain insights into the traditional knowledge of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, on whose ancestral land the festival was hosted. This immersive environment included educational programs led by Tataviam Elders and a multimedia installation by Chad S. Hamill/čnaq'ymi (Spokane), encouraging visitors to embrace Indigenous ways of knowing and being in the world. Framed by a site-specific installation by artist Mercedes Dorame (Tongva), the Knowledge Circle served as a hub for educational programs that included Tataviam Elders, as well as a multimedia installation by Hamill.  All prompted visitors to reconsider their relationship with the Earth and highlighted Indigenous ways of knowing and being in the world, rooted in the principles of interconnectedness, balance and reciprocity.

For those interested in hacktivism, "Zukunft Garten (A Solarpunk Experience)" offered a multisensory installation exploring the "solarpunk" movement. Curated and constructed by futurist John Threat and theatre designer Pedro Hernandez, this installation showcased film meditations, radical activism, talks, DJ sets, amongst a setting of greenery. The Zukunft Garten became a space which fostered spontaneous community and a vision of a utopian world where nature and tech can intertwine, it also included visions of new economic models.

An "EcoExpo" transformed CalArts' deck bridge into a green marketplace and ideation hub highlighting Southern California's flourishing green economy. Attendees engaged with growers, upcyclers, tech innovators, and eco-entrepreneurs, fostering generative conversations and showcasing some of the region's environmental initiatives. Among those participating were the  planting and reforestation movement’s TreePeople: the beloved organic farm Compton Community Garden;  Filipino plant preservation and wellness initiative Herbalaria;  AltaSea, dedicated to the “blue economy”;  The Allosphere, a 3D visualization tool concretize climate-related trends; vertical aeroponic food-grower LA Urban Farms:   upcyclers (no-waste) denim retailer Rag Reserve;  one-of-one garment project LAST ONE LEFT by 1-Off Recycled Garment Project; as well as the housing cooperative Los Angeles Ecovillage.

In Futuring (Art for Building New Worlds), curated by Visions2030’s Vera Petukhova, the work of over 40 visual artists and filmmakers, including 20 CalArts alumni and students, was featured in site-specific installations, interactive sculptures, and augmented and virtual reality experiences.  These explored world-building and sustainability in the context of ecology and climate solutions.  Among the works exhibited was  artist Ruben Ochoa's "Ain't No Green Without Brown" transformed farmworker clothing into a living system that grows vegetation, emphasizing the contributions of Latinx agricultural workers in climate discussions. Leslie Labowitz Starus presented "SPROUTIME IS NOW," merging organic foods business with her artistic practice.

Adjacent to The Lumisphere was the "Mentoring Tent," where visitors connected with "guides" to explore the visions they had created within the domes. They also engaged in discussions with specialists from various organizations and participated in armchair conversations with leading environmental groups, including Earthjustice, Center for Earth Ethics, Sierra Club, and more.

Sustainable Sounds, an open-air concert series, celebrated diverse musical genres and encouraged joy, raised vibrations, and expanded consciousness through music. Artists such as Foreigner, Cumbiáton, DJ Shub, saQi, Salt Petal, Supaman, Tha 'Yoties, Innastate, Danie, and more delighted attendees with their performances.

Impacts were potentially long-lasting. The Lumisphere, which had 2,700 visits, also took surveys of visitors optimism about the future, pre- and post-visit.  Planning is underway to travel the mulit-media structure, in conjunction with, possibly, other elements, such as the Mentoring Tent or even the EcoExpo or the Zukunft Garten.

Also appreciated was the power of the event to bring people together, visitors and participants alike.  As one visitor to the Mentoring Tent expressed to a “guide”:  “I felt so relaxed and transported. It was a message for my brain. I’m from Santa Clarita and I'm so happy this is here. We need more things like this.  It was great to see that people want more community and networks. That is the key, I don’t even know my neighbors. I barely see my friends.”

The festival aimed to stimulate the imagination, starting with an informed stance about climate, but also to present the open-ness to come up with solutions not conceived before.  inspired attendees to imagine and embrace not just a more sustainable future, but their own version of this, while presenting examples of climate innovation, sustainability activism, entrepreneurship, and creative interventions that paint the path forward toward possibly unimagined pathways to a greener world.