Event | Online film screening of Spaceship Earth and filmmaker conversation

In this time of creating pods with family and friends, watching filmmaker Matt Wolf’s documentary Spaceship Earth [trailer] at the start during the early days of COVID lockdown was fascinating look at groups dynamics. Yes, there is science, but it was also…there was DRAMA.

How did a groups of counterculture-oriented scientists decide to embark on an experiment to “demonstrate the viability of closed ecological systems to support and maintain human life in outer space?”

What was it like to experience the spectacle of Biosphere 2?

And, wait, what? Columbia University bought Biosphere 2 after the first two missions failed? For WHY?

Find out by watching the film and joining the Oral History Archives at Columbia and The Earth Institute’s Sustain What series 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.

Members of the Columbia community have a special opportunity to watch Spaceship Earth, a captivating chronicle of a visionary sustainability experiment, free of charge this weekend ahead of our live discussion Friday Feb. 12th at 1 p.m. ET with the director, Matt Wolf on the Earth Institute’s Sustain What webcast.
🚀 Watch the film on various streaming services.
💻 Update: watch the panel recording on YouTube.

🌏 Explore the related Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory oral history collection, (1995-1998) and listen to interviews from the collection in our Digital Library Collection.

✨ And after you’ve watched the film, read Arminda Downey-Mavromatis’ (BC’20) riveting article, “Mismanaged: Columbia’s Brief History with Biosphere 2.” Arminda will be joining the panel conversation on February 12th.

Thanks to our co-sponsors, the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE), the Columbia Center for Oral History Research and the School of the Arts for making this event possible!