People, places, parks: An online earth day celebration

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All of nature is a great wave phenomenon.” – Louis de Broglie, French Physicist

On Sunday, April 22nd, Canada and the rest of the world will celebrate Earth Day. No doubt Facebook news feeds and Twitter streams everywhere will be inundated with Earth Day hashtags, sustainable living tips, and other cause-related opportunities to take action on behalf of the planet. If there was ever a day to sign a petition on behalf of your favourite conservation organization, donate to an earth advocacy group, or even plant a tree in your yard, Sunday is the day to do it. It’s what makes writing about Earth day so difficult: there’s so much choice when it comes to online reading and shareable content.

 

I’m a big fan of maps so my online Earth Day celebration will start with a visit to Google Earth or Stratocam.com, an online tool that features Google satellite imagery from around the world. I might follow Google maps down its latest project, the Amazon River. Or maybe I’ll watch the sun rise over Yosemite National Park in time-lapse photography. I might move on to think about the parks and places I dream of visiting and the 52 artists who, in 2010, set out across 10 provinces, three territories and 13 national parks to bring a piece of Canada’s remote and precious wilderness into my home. I’m talking about the National Parks Project that aims to explore the ways in which the wilderness shapes our cultural imagination.

 

In the spirit of the Group of Seven and with the help of Parks Canada, this group of 52 artists were divided into groups of four: three musicians and one director. Each quartet was sent to one of Canada’s 10 provinces or three territories.  Over five days, these artists worked together to compose the 13 videos and soundtracks that make up the National Parks Project.

 

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The project features, among others, the directorial work of John Walker and David Lynch and music by Sam Roberts and Sarah Harmer. One of my favorite videos from the National Parks Project begins with the Broglie quote, noted above. No doubt the 1921 Nobel Prize award winner would marvel at how far we’ve come in science and technology. What would he think of Google Maps, online video streaming and projects like the one Parks Canada built?

 

This Earth Day, if you’re already online, consider the people, technologists and artists who believe in the importance of delicately connecting us to the places that, for the most part, remain untouched and unspoiled. It’s these places and parks that we quietly monitor online that remind me of the multitude of planetary connections we must protect, offline.

 

And, once you’ve put in a bit of online time, get yourself outside and experience this planet for yourself. From everyone at Lolë, Happy Earth Day!

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