Plastic Bottle Glacier – by Ron Wild

Buying bottled water results in a pile of plastic bottle trash that contaminates our environment for millennia. ‘Plastic Bottle Glacier’ by Ron Wild is a proposed outdoor ice sculpture installation that will shrink dramatically during the exhibition to highlight the earth’s alarming rate of global warming. The sculpture is a frozen ice block tower representing a pristine polar or mountain glacier.  This ice block (1m x 2m x 3m high) encompasses dozens of plastic water bottles, both new water-filled and dirty empty trash. As the sun shines on the block, the ice melts gradually releasing bottles in the process. The final scene of this natural phenomena is a pile of plastic bottles heaped in a puddle of water on the ground.

‘Plastic Bottle Glacier’ is focused on our staggering dependence on bottled water and single-use plastic products. It draws attention to the planet’s shrinking glaciers and natural frozen water. While tapping glaciers, rivers, and other natural sources of fresh drinking water, we are actually flooding our environment with the plastic containers and packaging used to deliver it. After we drink the water we are left with a pile of empty plastic bottles for eternity. The convenience of consumption does not justify the plastic waste problem it generates in our landfills and oceans.

‘TheBlessing’ Action is a participative art event where the sculpture viewers walk around the block and get their feet (or at least shoes) wet in the melt puddle. This ceremonial blessing forgives our sins for using bottled water and single-use plastic products. This is a shared public event that will impact both participants and passers-by equally. Every time our feet get wet in the future we will be reminded of the pledges (to reduce bottled water use) made during this ceremony. The ‘MindLapse’ Action encourages viewers to take an initial selfie photo in front of the block and post it on social media. They are encouraged to return a few days later to repeat the process; documenting a smaller ice block and a larger pile of plastic trash. Ambitious participants may be inspired to produce time-lapse photography or animated gif memes showing the rate of ‘polar ice cap’ collapse. This action draws people back to the exhibition to spend more time with the other projects as well.

Ron Wild is an emerging explorer at the art and science frontier, who bridges the divide between the two. With a foot firmly planted in each camp, Ron Wild brings his engineering background and love of technology to his diverse art-making vocation. As an art world outsider, he creatively builds prototypes and experiments with a wide range of new media. A Western Canadian at heart, he’s currently taking advantage of opportunities in Toronto to artistically collaborate with world-class scientists, mathematicians, and medical researchers. Notable Artist-in-Residencies include;  AADK (Spain, 2018), The Arctic Circle (Norway, 2016), Foundation Vasarely (France, 2013), and Canadian Film Centre (Canada, 2011).

Currently the artist is getting more involved in sculptural and (interactive) public art installations and performances. His signature ‘smART Map’ style is derived from digital sampling and layering techniques used in today’s popular music and culture. Rather than a single image, these vibrant mash-ups remix up to 100 layers of finely detailed mathematical and scientific symbology (Portfolio).

See Facebook for more work-in-progress prototypes in various media.