Wednesday, November 24, 2010

From one Cnut to Another.

Published: November 23, 2010.

Radiohead Singer Thom Yorke Orchestrates Massive Eco-Art Ode to King Canute

BRIGHTON— Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke is putting his celebrity to good use, helping catalyze volunteers for a massive experiment in global crowdsourced art, set for November 27 in Brighton, England. The giant-sized spectacle is part of Earth350, a week of art actions spearheaded by environmentalist Bill McKibben, who has called on volunteers from around the world to form massive pictures, often with their bodies, that will be photographed from space by satellites. The events are timed to take place in the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, running from November 29 to December 10, to demonstrate public consciousness of global warming.

Yorke's particular project for Earth350 aims to bring together 2,000 volunteers for a massive living portrait of King Canute, a Viking king of England who according to leged tried, but failed, to command the ocean to stop its waves. The image was conceived by the singer along with artist Stanley Donwood, who has been responsible for Radiohead's album art since the band began.

"Please also note that we will create the human sculpture even if it rains and is stormy, since weather is a central character in this art piece," a Web announcement for the event tells would-be volunteers. "Yes, this sounds mad but since we're recreating the story of King Canute it works."

Chris Dennis. The Great Cnut Diptych 2009

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