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[Question motivated by personal interest: I’m asking for myself, not for my employer.] 

I’m interested in a wide variety of media; the two most important factors here seem to be relevance to EA and the inherent coolness of the artwork. We could use this an opportunity to crowdsource examples and kick off a conversation about art and EA if there’s one that “wants to happen.” 

Some things to consider: 

If you don’t think the relevance of your answer(s) is obvious, you might consider explaining it.

If you’ve made some art you think is relevant, I’d really love to see it. I realize that it’s quite intimidating to post art (at least to me), but even if you don’t want to share publicly, I’d really appreciate any private sharing you’re comfortable with. (But I do encourage you to share it on the Forum if you can!)

Some relevant tags and posts: 

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We could make a collection of pictures that capture the concept of "caring for future generations". I have been moved and inspired by this picture of John Kerry signing the Paris Agreement with his granddaughter on his lap. He said that she represented future generations. 

I keep coming back to this Calvin and Hobbes strip, which captures an important part of the EA mindset (something we're trying to fight), I think:

Relevant links: 

I run a digital art studio, and some of my work is inspired by Effective Altruism themes and ideas.

Particularly, Shared Identity, Shared Values and Science and Identity borrow heavily from the community.

Congrats on starting this work! Those are great. 

A particular ask: may we have one or several on "Future Generations"? I've been willing to see and maybe have inspirational art around this for a while and I haven't encountered this in this format.

Thanks for sharing this!

This is cool, I had no idea you were also working on this.

For animations, these two came to my mind:

Ted Chiang's "The Lifecycle of Software Objects" (included in one of his collections of stories, Exhalation) is a fascinating exploration of digital sentience.

Apuleius's The Golden Ass is an ancient novel (the only complete surviving Roman novel!) in which the protagonist accidentally turns into an ass.  Although I haven't read the novel, Peter Singer seems to think that it is a good vehicle for conveying empathy towards other animals.

J.M. Coetzee's The Lives of Animals is a peculiar story of a novelist (much like Coetzee himself) delivering a set of lectures on humans' treatment of the other animals, along with surrounding tensions and encounters. 

I absolutely love that Ted Chiang story (and so many of the others, in both that collection and the other).

Thank you so much for the other recommendations!

I thought you might also highlight classic, historical, and even ancient works that convey important ideas?

Good point. Here are a couple of historical pieces & thoughts on types of things historical art can do.

[Disclaimer: written quickly, links are half-assed.]

  • Picasso's Guernica (see Wikipedia -- it's a very famous anti-war/anti-Fascist painting from 1937). I think it probably deserves its fame as a powerful way to communicate the horror of the war.

There are many more extremely moving pieces of art from other terrible historical events. Notebooks from GULAG camps by Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya survive. (Some images here --- note that they're quite graphic.) There's Goya's Disasters of War. There's a ton of cool (and sad) plague art of various kinds (some of "plague" art is leprosy art, actually)

  • There are paintings and depictions of awesome (or interesting) historical figures. E.g. you can search for cool paintings of Frederick Douglass (there are many).

  • I could make the argument that some forms of art are EA-related because they can give viewers today a sense of connection with the relatively far past, and then we can extrapolate into the far future. Fayum mummy portraits often make me feel this way; these are paintings of people who lived 2000 years ago, some of whom look li

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Stephen Clare
There's lots of great paintings of utopias or apocalypses too, like the Garden of Earthly Delights (though not clear if it's utopic or apocalpytic!)
Good point. Also, Bosch's stuff (e.g. the Garden of Earthly Delights, which you linked) has a bunch of moralizing/satirizing that's arguably relevant. For instance, his famous "Ship of Fools" painting is an illustration of Plato's allegory representing "the problems of governance prevailing in a political system not based on expert knowledge" (or generally coordination issues, rhetoric-vs-demonstrated-skill, etc.).
Tobias Häberli
I think Da Vinci's Studies of the Fetus in the Womb are also quite beautiful and apparently (one of) the first drawings of a fetus' positioned accurately.  

I often think of Dr. Seuss's cartoon about foreign children, which I think applies in a variety of contexts:

(His cartooning has a complicated history.)

To learn illustrator, I created a few posters for EA Denmark:

Global poverty: https://i.imgur.com/SMEUmUE.jpg

Animal welfare: https://i.imgur.com/9aXYVNw.jpg

Existential risk: https://i.imgur.com/6sLdojT.jpg

Longtermism: https://i.imgur.com/PS4Ap8J.jpg

I didn't pay to acquire the rights for the assets I burrowed so they just hang in my room :)

Thank you for sharing these! (A great way to learn Illustrator, I'd bet.)

I loved this post!! This website has a bunch of art collected that people have submitted because it  inspires them to feel existential hope: https://www.existentialhope.com. It's not been updated for a few years now but I work for Foresight Institute who created the website and this year we are going to do a big re-vamping of it. If you have more of this type content I think it would be great to feature on the XHope web :)

The Good Ancestor by Roman Krznaric notes a host of examples of art that help stimulate conceptions of deep time, the future, future generations, etc. that may be relevant to longtermism.

I really enjoy Cage's piece

From Wikipedia: "The Butter Battle Book is a rhyming story written by Dr. Seuss. It was published by Random House on January 12, 1984. It is an anti-war story; specifically, a parable about arms races in general, mutually assured destruction and nuclear weapons in particular."

Page from around the middle of the book 

It's short and on point, and I quite like the ending. 

  1. The #EffectiveAltruism tag on TikTok is pretty hit or miss, but arguably qualifies as art. Playlists aren't viewable in the web client, but I have an effective altruism playlist in my profile (@Benthamite) if you use the mobile app.
    1. Various social media meme groups are similar, notably DEAM/OMfCT. See also the meme tag on the EA forum.
  2. Jason Crawford has progress-related poems
  3. Some wedding related poetry/vows here
  4. José Oliveira makes artwork in exchange for donations to AMF and has a large portfolio of such paintings, although the subject matter is usually not EA related.
  5. Secular solstice often has EA-adjacent themes

At Effective Giving Quest, we’re aware of several video and board games that are relevant to EA, either because they deal with the topic of EA directly or because the developers behind the games are EAs themselves.

We have not yet launched, and so are still in the process of standardizing a way for EA-friendly developers to commit to giving a set percentage of their profits toward EA causes. Once we do this, we should have a much more comprehensive list of relevant-to-EA video and board games that we can share with the EA community.

I'll come back to edit this post with a list of EA-relevant games after EGQ launches.

What are the EA games you mentioned here?

Effective Giving Quest hasn't quite officially launched — when we do, we will be certain to post an announcement on the EA Forum. But EffectiveGivingQuest.org did somewhat quietly go live today. Unfortunately, we're not yet ready to host a full list of games either about EA or created by EAs, but I can share a smaller list of non-commercial games if you're interested. * EA Against Humanity * EA Wits & Wagers * EA Jeopardy * EA Codenames Right now, Effective Giving Quest is in the process of working with several game developers and publishers that are receptive to EA. When we finally get to our hard launch, you'll be able to see several commercially available games listed on our site. But until we get to that point, all I can offer is this unofficial short list of non-commercial games.
I see, thanks Eric.  Do you have a date for your actual launch?
Unfortunately, I don't have a firm launch date that we can publicly share yet. It will be no later than Q4 2022, but we're aiming for earlier than that.
Aaron Boddy
Hey Eric, this comment thread popped into my head today :) Are you able to share the list of relevant-to-EA video and board games at this time? I'm just super curious to know what they are and try some out!

Chekhov's The Petcheneg is a delight that touches on vegetarianism, farmed animal welfare, wild animal welfare, and moral cluelessness, all just in service of character and plot development...Link: https://www.ibiblio.org/eldritch/ac/petcheneg.htm

I’ve actually had a concept for an EA/EA-adjacent drawing/painting stuck in my head for a while now, but 1) I can’t recall/determine whether it is just closely related to something someone has already made and I saw, and 2) I suck at drawing/painting, so I was hoping to see if there were any more-artistically inclined people who might be interested in realizing the concept.

Basically, it’s a symbolism-heavy painting about anti-death/longtermism/human striving, with most (~80%) of the left side darkened/shadowed, followed by a line of people on the right edge of the shadow, containing a variety of scenes of humanity/life, including one or two people trying to pass on a torch to someone/somewhere off the canvas. (I have plenty more details written down, but I’ll leave it at the basic idea here. If anyone 1) has seen something similar that I may just be forgetting, and/or 2) is interested/inspired to work on it further, just let me know! I would be personally very interested in seeing such a painting, but I totally lack the artistic skills to make it happen)

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