Monday, May 14, 2018

Spaceship Earth: A Metaphor?

David Brower was one of America's great environmental organizers, shepherding the Sierra Club to greatness, and creating a host of other organizations: Friends of the Earth, the League of Conservation Voters, Earth Island Institute, and the North Cascades Conservation Council.

In 2000, a few months before David Brower's death, philanthropist Brian Maxwell commissioned a giant sculpture to commemorate the man.

The sculpture was to be of a giant blue globe referencing the "Spaceship Earth" that Brower so often evoked during his talks.

Maxwell commissioned Finnish American artist Eino Romppanen (Commonly known only as "Eino") to create the piece.

Eino decided to make the piece from Brazilian Blue Quartzite which is three times harder than marble.

The final globe was completed in 2006 and is made of 88 individual pieces of Brazilian Quartzite bonded together, with a bronze David Brower striding across the top. 

The completed sculpture weighs 350,000 pounds, is 15-feet across, and is  bonded together with a special polyepoxide.

Eino said the sculpture would last 1,000 years.

It fell apart in two months.

Eino reassembled the sculpture, which seems to have suffered an adhesive failure, in November of 2007.

The sculpture now resides at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, adjacent to the Social Science building.

David Brower fighting from inside a broken Spaceship Earth.

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