04 August 2007

Global Climate Change: Art in Action, the HighWaterLine Project

Andy Goodman pointed me to Eve Mosher's HighWaterLine Project.

Like the Lennon Piano Peace Project I wrote about a couple of days ago, the HWL is a work of art rather than confrontation, but in its quiet statement it speaks volumes.

All over the city, Ms. Mosher, an artist with a background in environmental design, is marking with chalk the 10-feet above sea level line around Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. This is the potential high water mark resulting from a 100-year flood or worst-case scenario rise in sea level by 2020 due to global warming. She's backed up her concept with science and references to reports.

What's cool about this piece is its simplicity. The artist isn't preaching or haranguing passersby with her message. In fact, you have to ask her what she's doing. Then she'll offer an "action packet" featuring steps to reduce climate change.

Imagine encountering the artist in action: is she an errant grounds crew member from a local ballpark on her way home? A sidewalk marker who has forgotten to turn off her machine? I love the way this works, quietly insidiously, spreading like an urban legend.

As Mosher explains on the HWL web site: "Climate change is a silent, invisible threat - High Water Line gives voice and makes visible the affects of this threat. High Water Line is designed to engage the community and promote thoughtful, informed dialogue and action."

Look for her if you're in Lower Manhattan next week (10-12 August).

Wanna know where your high water mark is? Check out the Sea Level Rise Google Maps created by Alex Tingle

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