The average person lives 72.6 years; how can we spend this time wisely? This is the question that London’s Barbican Centre’s newest exhibition aims to shed some light. Our Time on Earth immerses its audience in alternative ideas and perspectives for the way we live in and with the natural world. In combining people from the domains of art, design, academia, activism, engineering, ecology, and technology, the expo helps transform the conversation around the current climate emergency. The exhibition shows how human beings, one species among millions of others, belong to an ecosystem. With that they are part of the biosphere: the whole surface and atmosphere of our planet that is occupied by living organisms. Through offering ways of interacting with our planet via interactive installations, the expo helps to reignite a sense of awe and respect for our beautiful, complex planet. 

Refuge for Resurgence, Giorgio Lazzaro, 2021

In Our Time on Earth, 18 works from 12 different countries work together in showcasing and offering possibilities for a different future of our planet, spread over three interconnected sections: belong, imagine, engage. This way, the exhibition is geared towards exploring how we as humans belong in relation to other species and in relation to our place in the biosphere. Through interactive experiences, immersive installations and digital works, the expo, allows for imagining positive possible scenarios of our planet’s near future. Therefore, introducing us to new imaginations and encouraging us to engage in collective action for widespread systematic change. Where technology brings us closer to nature, and indigenous insight reconnects us to our roots. With that, Our Time on Earth forms an interdisciplinary approach to empowering its audience to make a positive change in regards to how we live in and with nature.

Eyes as Big as Plates # Sinikka (Norway 2019) © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Our Time on Earth is an exhibition conceived and curated by Barbican International Enterprises and is on display at The Curve, Barbican Centre from 5 May until 29 August, 2022. 

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