Installation PLUNGE by Michael Pinsky is a pretty scary and pretty graphic reminder of the impact of climate change on a city like London. In a very dramatic way, it depicts what the impact of rising sea levels, due to climate change, will be in 3012.
It's a very simple but effective idea: marking the sea level on three of the city's most fabulous monuments with a ring of low energy blue LED lights.
One thousand years in the future, rising sea levels will have changed the city beyond recognition. As glaciers melt and temperatures rise and the oceans expand, the waters will rise to a staggering 28 metres (90 feet) above their current level.
The level of 28 metres is based on the most current research and scientific evidence. It is all conceptual, because no one really knows, so consider it an extreme example of what could happen if the UK (and the rest of the world) continues with a ‘business as usual’ emissions scenario, i.e.without changing anything they do today.
It's a mess. The banks of the Thames River will no longer hold and the water will flood the city. This column is at Paternoster Square, home of Occupy London. It is 23 metres high, was bombed in 1940 and rebuilt in the 1960's. It is the largest freestanding monument to be built in London in the last century and is illuminated by fibre-optic lighting at night. The water could be higher than the doors to the famous St. Paul's Cathedral, standing behind it.
The Duke of York column is 37.6 m. high. It was built between 1830 and 1833, and is a monument to Prince Frederick, Duke of York, the second eldest son of King George III (remember that rhyme,“The Grand Old Duke of York”). Nearby Buckingham Palace would also be flooded.
The project is the brainchild of Artsadmin and LIFT, an arts organization that produces sophisticated and dramatic public art with a social conscience. Michael Pinsky, the artist, has also been involved in public art projects in the UK. They are working with students and arts groups and the public to raise awareness of the issues.