Watching Water Rise

I am currently obsessed with Lars Jan's performance piece, Holoscenes. The project communicates the perils of climate change in the form of public art. Making that creative connection is the best part the doom & gloom story that is global warming, in my opinion. Plus, I deeply appreciate a good play on words geology-style (Holoscene : Holocene :: AnthropoSEEN : Anthropocene, catch that?! wink wink).

"Climate change is a mirror. It's more about us -- the behavioral and cognitive science behind how we make decisions, think in the long-term, and feel empathy -- than it is about CO2 or melting glaciers. We need to broaden our perspective, not only on this issue, but in how we think about our planet and all of our communities as a single, related system." Lars Jan (source)

He just gets it.

This project aims to hold live performances in tanks that fill and empty with water, paralleling the threats of sea level rise. But the exhibit also poetically demonstrates the human capacity to adapt in each performers experience with the water. The installation videos are intended to evoke feelings that include empathy and ownership (and that they do) but they also simply entrance the viewer. The napping huntsman has just finished the contents of his thermos when the water engulfs him in his slumber, and I watch for two minutes waiting for him to awaken and retrieve floating the container.

Going against my intial instinct to post every video and photograph for the project, below I highlight two. The first is an introduction to the project and the second an installation.

Be prepared to fall in love.

Yesterday the project reached it's kickstarter goal of $41,000 to construct the centerpiece aquarium. Soon these videos will be reenacted in public spaces, and I for one cannot wait to see it all in person. I am tempted to book my flight for Toronto (where the tank will debut this Fall) just to see it...

Read more at the project website so I can stop raving about it.