Mission: Winning Hearts And Minds
We want to shock and inspire people of all ages and social levels. We want to touch people who never think about sea and lake pollution or ocean ecology, even grab and shake them personally, to enlighten them without scolding, to open their eyes, inform them, move them emotionally and make them act!
A new obelisk of our age!
We don’t want to preach to the converted. The intervention is really inclusive. By placing these provocative large installations in public spaces where everyone passes by, we engage them directly.
From a distance, it looks like a beautiful, LED lit-up blue sculpture. Upon approaching the giant PET “water bottle”, you see the generic plastic rubbish floating (flip-flops, PET bottles, plastic bags, packaging and reflecting plastic beads to represent micro-plastics that are distributed through all water bodies and ecosystems today, and which eventually enter our bodies and cause disease) – rather disgusting and horrifying, but fascinating!
The double-wall gives the object stability and reduces its weight compared to a fully water-filled object. LED lights in the base and in the hollow core light up the whole “bottle” from inside. A small propeller constantly churns the water slowly to represent ocean tides and currents. A solar panel and battery nearby can power the lighting.
As a brand label, the “bottle” carries the label:
WE DRINK THIS!
H2O (deleted) C10H804 (the chemical formula for PET plastic)
We can change the way we live!
The intervention galvanizes people to think and act. Through texts (available on a digital display beside the bottle, or via QR code connected to a project app, or in printed leaflets) we will engage with the public in a friendly way, encourage debate and thoughtfulness, hopefully leading to individual action to change consumer behaviour.
It is the only way!
Why?: Reading statistics is one thing, but an icon or a sculpture says more than a thousand words. This is provocative public art in the tradition of social art (Dada, Joseph Beuys, Damian Hirst, Ai Weiwei, Jason DeCaires Taylor, Femen, Gelitin)
We hope to make people aware, discuss, spread the message of www.universal-sea.org and get them to act, in private consumption and the public sphere. We want children to be impressed and carry the message of the project “Universal Sea – Pure or Plastic?” and awareness to future generations.
What will we do?
A totem for our times!
We locally produce with allies and civil initiatives in selected cities, the approx. 4m or 4.5m-high “We Drink This! – bottles” out of existing waste/recycled plastic, and place them in different locations (railway stations, airport halls, shopping centre atria, pedestrian zones, academic and business campuses, crowded bathing beaches and pools, and even underwater, where those divers hang around).
- What and How?: Create fun awareness events and parties with the public around the “bottles” (school groups, art/creative and crowd-sourcing idea workshops, ocean-related avant-garde music & dance performances) and transmit them by live-streaming on the Internet, to create a snowball effect.
- Who?: Digital outreach by the website, blogs and YouTube videos, to motivate ocean ecology groups, coastal governments, schools and universities everywhere, to encourage them to join, participate, co-sponsor, expand and contribute ideas.
- How?: One way that we can follow in the proposed cities, has already been started by Sara in Ljubljana: collaborating with the municipal waste collection agency to support a broad educational offensive + an upcycling project to convert existing plastic waste to long-lasting designer products, providing creative youth employment and awareness. Another way is inspired by a recent visit to Istanbul, where a “bottle” (pictured here) is used to collect plastic – we could expand it in other cities to a collaborative and educational effort, financially self-supporting through the recycled plastic.
Crowdfunding can provide additional funds and ideal support.
We will also initiate and assist a campaign by children to write to politicians to introduce laws, fines, incentives and rewards to reduce and replace plastic.
- When?: Optimistic as we are that our effective public art project will be liked and be among the winners J, we are applying for additional funds to an ocean foundation that Ramesh has worked with previously. We have also spoken to a big European art foundation for additional support, with a very positive tentative response depending on success in this competition.
- Who? Scientific support: We are also talking to interested oceanologists in San Sebastian, Bilbao and the South of France who will assist us with research and info.
Where?: Besides the proposed cities for the actions, here’s a choice of European locations in which we have personal, official, academic or professional connections to realize project events:
Coastal: Bari, Bilbao, San Sebastian, Rijeka, Split, Montenegro, Albania, La Rochelle, Edinburgh, Dublin, Helsinki, Malmö, Gdansk, Hamburg, Liverpool, Bosnia Herzegovina, Slovenia, Mallorca, Lanzarote, Sicily, Porto, Malta, Greek islands.
Inland: Vienna, Graz, Münich, Berlin, Budapest, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Matera, London, Birmingham, Oxford, Cambridge.
Ramesh Kumar Biswas, architect, urban designer, ecologist, public artist, designer and curator of major exhibitions in galleries and museums in Europe/Asia/Latin America/Australia/USA, author of best-selling books on cities, art and cultural phenomenology.
Sara Tusar, waste collector and transformer, upcycling designer, experienced in marketing and digital communication, civil society initiatives.
Tom Strobl, artist.
Link to our detail CVs