Past Event

Meet the Director - Lessons from a “Spaceship Earth” in the Desert

February 12, 2021
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

No signup required. 

Join Sustain What host Andy Revkin and guests for an exploration of “Spaceship Earth” – a documentary chronicling the strange and newly-relevant back story of the team of obsessive counterculture entrepreneurs, visionaries and scientists who built and occupied Biosphere 2 – a glass-encased experiment in sustainability in the Arizona desert.

The story resonates afresh as billionaires chart paths to extraterrestrial settlement and strains on the global environment elicit new calls for humans to design an economy that doesn’t overwhelm ecology.

Drawing on more than 700 hours of archival footage, the film’s director, Matt Wolf, has crafted a memorable portrait of an array of characters melding utopian ideals and cultish magnetism in pursuit of a singular dream.

This Earth Institute Sustain What episode is co-sponsored by the Oral History Archives at Columbia, the Columbia University School of the Arts, and the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory & Empirics (INCITE). Explore the related Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory oral history collection, (1995-1998):

Listen here:

The film, distributed by Neon, was featured at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival just before the pandemic. It is currently streaming on the online video service Hulu.

Contact Information

Andy Revkin