by Kimberlie Birks
It’s likely no surprise the Tank team digs creative approaches to sustainability. Inspired by the huge fish that beached themselves in Rio during the Rio+20 Sustainability Development Conference in June, we are tumbling into the plastic arts today, with a look at projects that cause us to reflect on our consumption habits in inspiring ways.
plastic bottle fish on Botafogo beach in Rio, June 2012 via demilked
The New York-based graphic design firm MSLK, desiring to draw attention to the plague of plastic bottles
that we produce on a daily basis, installed Watershed
on New York’s Governors Island in 2009. The work strung 1,500 plastic bottles—the number of bottles that the US consumes in 1 second—together into a work meant to cause people to reflect on the environmental repercussions of drinking bottled water over tap. To see more about the installation of this project, watch this lovely little video
Waterfall (Canadian Art) by Katherine Harvey, Toronto, 2008
The Canadian artist Katharine Harvey
has long been interested in water
. In recent years, she has turned to using plastic bottles and containers to create works of monumental size and beauty that also contain a monumental message of the ‘glut of plastic in consumer society’. In April, Harvey’s Chandalier
was installed in the Winter Garden of New York’s World Financial Center
, just in time for Earth Day.
Chandalier by Katharine Harvey, World Financial Center Winter Garden, NYC, May 2012
Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro by Vik Muniz via ibtimes.co.uk
Brazilian-born, New York-based artist Vik Muniz
turned Rio’s plastic waste into a unique portrait of the city for Landscape project, a meditation on the ever-quickening pace of consumer culture. ”We have a chance to meditate on our place in nature,” Muniz says. “It may not solve all the problems but it puts you in a state to meditate on your own decisions.”
I’ll drink to that.