Dancing Bottle Cap Sculpture Shows Exactly What Happens With Too Much Ocean Trash

plastic ocean art installation fred georgeFred George/YouTube/Video screen capture

The 'Plastic Ocean' installation in Germany.

Little bits of color dance in the water, rising and sinking and spinning along with the current bubbling up from below.

But this cheerful sight doesn't last long -- once too many multicolored bottle caps are introduced into the mix, the show stops, symbolizing the effect of plastic trash on our oceans.

Artist Fred George created his "Plastic Ocean" installation in Saarbrücken, Germany, to help illustrate the increasing threat non-biodegradable plastic particles in the ocean pose to fish and other sea creatures. Comprised of seven water-filled columns, one for each of the world's seas, the piece is completed by recycled bottle caps collected by local schoolchildren:

plastic ocean art installation studentsFred George/YouTube/Video screen capture

Students and a teacher adding bottle caps to the display.

[The bottle caps] will be placed in the columns and the [forced] air [coming from below] will rotate the caps, producing moving art to attract the pedestrian to the display.

When the columns become full of caps the air will no longer be able to move the caps. The sculpture will become sedated, which represent[s] the oceans as they become more polluted with plastic.

George, whose "Solar Peace Sign" sculpture was previously featured in a TreeHugger slideshow on solar-powered artworks around the world, unveiled "Plastic Ocean" in November as part of a collaboration with Irish choreographer Marguerite Donlon.

The piece served as a stage for a environmentally themed dance performance, "Blue," by the Ballett des Saarländischen Staatstheaters under her direction. Minus the dancers, "Plastic Ocean" will stay on view in Saarbrücken for six months.

Dancing Bottle Cap Sculpture Shows Exactly What Happens With Too Much Ocean Trash
Artist Fred George's 'Plastic Ocean' installation in Saarbrücken, Germany is a playful statement about a serious environmental threat.

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