Earthbound Moon (EbM) is a nonprofit community arts organization based in the state of Illinois. Founded in 2009, Its staff curates sites and artists from around the world; and interfaces with community organizations and volunteers in every location. By creating new ties and strengthening existing relationships between disparate groups the goal is to develop links between community arts organizations, artists and municipalities worldwide. EbM provides opportunities for artists in different countries and across socio-economic boundaries to work as part of a global arts community. Earthbound Moon creates publicly accessible contemporary sculpture by international artists in communities around the world. The artworks create a web of gathering places, sites of curiosity, engagement and wonder on a local and global scale. They function as a reminder and a statement that when we build communities, alongside their commercial and financial needs, we must also nurture their creative, spiritual, artistic, leisure and romantic needs.
Earthbound Moon offers artists an opportunity to create site-specific public sculpture. We are looking for sculptures that are integrally situated in the communities they inhabit. Artists will be expected to design and install their works with the ethos and history of the community in mind. Asking artists to take such care with site-specificity creates a bond between the work, the common space we are declaring and each individual community. Beyond this, by inviting artists from around the world, and building a sculpture garden that spreads across the Earth while embracing local site-specificity, Earthbound Moon creates a sense of each community's place within the larger whole of the species and life on Earth. Enhancing the challenge of site-specificity for artists, we expect the works to be rigorously contemporary. We are curious how contemporary artists will engage the challenge of creating contemporary works that are safe enough to be installed publicly.
Our project fosters links between artists, art organizations, communities, and municipalities worldwide. It functions as a reminder that when we build and rebuild communities, we must nurture creative, spiritual, artistic, romantic, and leisure needs alongside commercial and financial needs. Each Earthbound Moon site blooms individually from a single organism stretched across time and space. Our global network of sites is anchored by public artworks that encourage the universal exchange of ideas. Like modern media corporations, EbM aims to influence the intellectual development of humans through aesthetic engagement. We are attempting to create a disruptive new practice, an artistic work that contributes to the destabilizing force of modern technology. We envision work on both planetary and universal scales, with the intention that EbM be actively imagining in hundreds of generations. We are helping to push open the conceptions of time, space, and permanence. In so doing, EbM challenges narratives intended to restrict vision, narratives intended to limit individuals and communities through their personal fears.
The EbM collaborative curates artists and sites to create a worldwide sculpture garden. The selection process is specific to each site. In some cases, we work with local art organizations; other times, we approach artists directly because we see a connection between their previous work and one of our chosen sites. We also put out calls for submissions. To submit work or suggest an artist to EbM, contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. While they are not geographically connected, the communities thread the sculpture sites together because EbM asks an artist from each community to work on a future location. This forges communal connections and encourages personal dialogue within EbM’s project.
We acquire land through purchase, donation, and if the land is leased, we require a one-hundred-year contract with the land owner. Our long-term commitment to each site requires that as works pass from the land, we return and reuse the sites.
EbM prefers to begin every project with ample lead time, commissioning an artist two full years before her installation. In the first year, the artist visits the site to begin to engage with the location and community. We believe that spending time in a place encourages greater empathy in artworks created after the experience. Although knowing a community cannot occur in a one- to two-week visit, this period allows for a different kind of knowledge than that gained only through theoretical research. In the second year of a project, the EbM team joins the artist on-site to install her work. We try to arrange lectures, gallery shows, events, and other forms of interaction with the community to accompany the installation.