Sphere celebrates Earth Day with special Exosphere mini show

22nd April 2024
Paige West

Sphere Entertainment Co. announced a special Exosphere content show in celebration of Earth Day, featuring work from Mickey Hart, the multi-GRAMMY Award-winning percussionist of Grateful Dead and Dead & Company, alongside filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg.

An 11-minute show combining Hart’s and Schwartzberg’s artwork will be presented at 6:00am PT today, with additional showings at 7:00pm and 8:00pm PT this evening. Their art will also be displayed individually at various times throughout the day. Hart and Schwartzberg are the most recent contributors to design for the Exosphere as part of Sphere’s XO/Art program, which showcases the work of renowned artists on Sphere’s immersive exterior.

“Our XO/Art program continues to make art available and accessible to the public in a highly innovative and unique way, both in Las Vegas and around the world,” said Jennifer Koester, President, Sphere Business Operations at Sphere Entertainment. “Mickey Hart and Louie Schwartzberg are artists who utilise novel techniques to not only create impactful visuals, but also tell important stories, and we are proud to feature their immersive work in a first-of-its-kind show on the Exosphere to celebrate Earth Day.”   

“I've always felt that music has the power to connect us to the rhythms of the Earth and the universe,” said Mickey Hart. “The Sphere project is my attempt to harness those rhythms and create something that speaks to the interconnectedness of all life. It's a visual representation of the rhythms and energies that inspire me. It is like a beat in a song, creating layers of texture and emotion on the canvas. Earth Day should remind us that we are all part of a vast, cosmic symphony, and that it is our responsibility to care for this planet and all its inhabitants.”

“I am excited to share nature’s wonders on the largest canvas on Earth,” said Louie Schwartzberg. “These sequences make the invisible visible by exploring the foundations of Life. We start with Earth’s majestic landscapes, to soil making fungi, to flowers and their pollinators, all of which propels life to flourish. When assembled together, they tell the magical story of unseen worlds that sustain Life on Earth. This is the greatest story to tell on Earth Day. Let’s celebrate Life.”

Hart's creation, titled ‘Rhythms of the Universe’, is a 90-second visual symphony divided into four distinct phases, each characterised by unique movements and vibrant colour patterns. The artwork progresses from gentle undulations and ripples to dynamic colour transitions and evolving shapes, offering a visual exploration of a psychedelic cosmos. As a percussion expert, Hart employs sound vibrations to manipulate paint on his canvases. For this Exosphere piece, he utilised a Pythagorean monochord played through a subwoofer. The subwoofer's ultra-low frequencies induce vibrations that animate the artwork, allowing the paints to transform and the colours to flow in various mesmerising patterns.

Schwartzberg, returning to his documentarian roots for his six 90-second Exosphere pieces, draws from a wealth of nature footage employing his acclaimed time-lapse photography technique. His first piece, ‘Earth Masterpieces’, showcases coral reefs, ocean vistas, waterfalls, and desert canyons. This is followed by a segment on mushrooms, featuring exclusive footage of species like lion’s mane, captured during the production of his 2019 documentary, ‘Fantastic Fungi’. ‘Seductive Flowers’ then captures the delicate dance of various blooms, and ‘Master Pollinators’ highlights the vital role of birds and bees in our ecosystems. In the final segments, ‘Organic Mandalas’ transforms natural imagery into intricate circular designs symbolising the cycle of life, while ‘Nature Reimagined’ offers a transformative journey through time and space.

Mickey Hart, a multi-GRAMMY Award-winner, is celebrated not only as a drummer and percussionist for the Grateful Dead and Dead & Company but also as a painter, writer, and explorer. Known for his contributions beyond music, Hart advocates for rhythm and music as therapeutic tools and participates in environmental conservation efforts. His innovative painting technique, vibrational expressionism, merges art and music through the use of sound waves to shape paint.

Louie Schwartzberg stands out as an award-winning cinematographer, director, and producer, famed for his capacity to capture the sublime beauty of nature. He is particularly noted for his expertise in time-lapse photography, which reveals the intricate details and marvels of the natural world. His films often explore themes of environmental conservation and the interconnectedness of life, aiming to inspire with the rich diversity of the Earth. Schwartzberg's dedication to his art has earned him widespread recognition and numerous accolades within the filmmaking community.

Since its debut on the 4th July 2023, the Exosphere has become a global sensation for its compelling visuals. As the largest LED screen on Earth, it features approximately 1.2 million LED pucks, each spaced eight inches apart and containing 48 individual LED diodes capable of displaying over a billion colours.

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