WeTransfer and Serpentine launch Back to Earth: Groundwork

A series of creative journeys behind Back to Earth, Serpentine’s environmental programme. Unveiled on WePresent, with WeTransfer enabling crowdsourced philanthropy to the five artists’ charities

LONDON, 28th January 2021 - WePresent, the editorial platform of WeTransfer, and the Serpentine come together to present Groundwork: a series of five digital mini-encyclopaedias  exploring the research behind artists’ new work for Back to Earth, the Serpentine’s multi-year project focused on instigating change in response to the climate crisis. 

Each month, starting from 28th January, Groundwork invites viewers to immerse themselves in the artistic worlds of Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Vivienne Westwood, Karrabing Film Collective, Himali Singh Soin and Tabita Rezaire. Groundwork is a multimedia compilation of the inspiration behind the never-before-seen artworks, documenting the creative processes of these unique artists. Together, they offer an insight into the many ways that artists for Back to Earth are responding to the climate emergency. 

Available exclusively on WePresent, Groundwork places global perspectives from Australia, French Guiana, Himalayas and London in conversation with one another, adding to the editorial platform’s coverage of creativity from over 101 countries across the globe. As part of this project, each artist has chosen a charitable organisation and with WePresent, invites the public to act on the artists’ ecological visions. Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, the first artists featured, have chosen the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), to which members of the public will be able to donate via their WePresent feature and a dedicated wallpaper on the WeTransfer site. CEF will deploy 100% of the funds to frontline climate activists campaigning for policymakers to take radical action. 

Leveraging its platform to crowdsource philanthropy, WeTransfer will match up to 30,000€ in donations pledged by audiences to the artists’ chosen charities. This commitment continues the company’s dedication to enhancing its positive social impact, having pledged to reduce 30% of its carbon emissions by 2025. The Groundwork project launches in light of WeTransfer’s recent certification as a B Corporation - a prestigious standard achieved by few global technology organisations. 

Holly Fraser, Editor-in-Chief of WePresent, said: “Our collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries is our third with a major art institution, testament to WePresent and WeTransfer’s commitment to supporting the arts. Essential to the Groundwork project is that it shines a light on the creative process, the north star to WeTransfer’s set of tools.” 

Bettina Korek, Chief Executive, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine said:“The Serpentine is delighted to work with WePresent to lift the veil on some of the creative processes behind these urgent projects that make up Back to Earth, the backbone of our Ecology Programme. This collaboration with WePresent not only gives us all a chance to dive into artists’ worlds that are usually hidden, but amplifies these discoveries on a global scale.” 

The Serpentine’s long term environmental programme Back to Earth investigates questions like: How can art respond to the climate crisis? What can artists contribute at this moment of global emergency? Each Back to Earth project also doubles an environmental campaign, from speculative investigations on one side of the spectrum, to concrete activism on the other. To find out more, explore campaigns from artists including Olafur EliassonMaria Theresa Alves and Judy Chicago with Jane Fonda and Swoon and look out for a major Back to Earth exhibition at the Serpentine, coming soon. 

Groundwork launches on 28th January 2021 with Heavens by Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen. It is exclusively available on the WePresent website


LINK to view media kit and download assets via Paste by WeTransfer

Notes to Editors:

About WePresent

WePresent is WeTransfer’s editorial platform, acting as the company’s cultural torchbearer and curator of creativity to 3m monthly readers. WePresent showcases the best in art, photography, music, and more, offering readers a fresh take on the magic and mystery of creative ideas. Championing diversity in everything it does, WePresent scours the globe for unexpected stories about creativity, from emerging young talent to renowned artists like Solange, Riz Ahmed, John Legend, Tyler Mitchell, Björk, FKA twigs, and Bernardine Evaristo.

About WeTransfer

Having made its name in the game of quick and simple file-sharing, WeTransfer has grown into a collection of tools designed for and inspired by the creative process. Collect is the go-to app 4M people turn to for saving and sharing inspiration. Paste® is the collaborative presentation tool of choice for over 40,000 fast-moving teams. Paper® helps 30M minds sketch, paint, and draw on iOS. And of course there’s the original file-sharing platform, where 60 million people send over 1.5 billion files every month. Around 75% of WeTransfer users identify as creatives, and its this global community the company exists to celebrate and inspire on WePresent, WeTransfer’s editorial platform. 

As a certified B Corporation WeTransfer strives to use business as a force for good. Since the beginning WeTransfer has donated up to 30% of advertising real estate to raise awareness for artists, creative work, and the world’s most pressing issues such as climate change and gun control. This amounts to more than $300 million to date and has led to partnerships with artists and organizations like Björk, FKA twigs, Ryan McGinley, Solange, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and the UN Development Program.

About the Serpentine:

Championing new ideas in contemporary art since 1970, the Serpentine has presented pioneering exhibitions for half a century, from a wide range of emerging practitioners to the most internationally recognised artists of our time.

Across two sites only 5 minutes apart, in London’s Kensington Gardens, the Serpentine presents a year-round, free programme of exhibitions, education, live events and technological innovation, in the park and beyond.

Proud to maintain free access for all visitors, thanks to its unique location the Serpentine reaches an exceptionally broad audience and maintains a deep connection with its local community. Back to Earth is curated and produced by Rebecca Lewin, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Jo Paton, Lucia Pietroiusti, Holly Shuttleworth and Kostas Stasinopoulos.

About Climate Emergency Fund (CEF)

Climate Emergency Fund provides financial support to individuals and organizations that demonstrate the intention and capability of disrupting with urgency the inadequate and immoral gradual approach governments around the world are taking to address the climate emergency. The organization’s role in winning the future is to turbocharge activism, to put pressure on government leaders, divest from fossil fuel financing, and diversify the movement by engaging new voices.