In 2007 the artist Eve Mosher, interested in climate change, followed the 10ft elevation above sea level around Brooklyn and then Manhattan. She called the work High Water Line. She used one of those push along carts that are used to mark football, baseball, rugby and other pitches with chalk (in the US called a heavy hitter, believe it or not). The New Yorker magazine carried the story post-Sandy.
Greenhouse Britain: Losing Ground, Gaining Wisdom started from the question, “The waters are rising. How can we retreat gracefully?” and the first works that the artists produced were the re-drawing of the UK coastline at the 5m, 10m and 15m marks.
Artist Chris Bodle did a similar exercise in Bristol – you can see documentation here.
Bill McKibben recently said that where artists cluster around issues you know something important is happening.
He’s been quoted as describing artists as ‘the antibodies of the cultural bloodstream”.
“Artists”, he says “sense trouble early, and rally to isolate and expose and defeat it, to bring to bear the human power for love and beauty and meaning against the worst results of carelessness and greed and stupidity. So when art both of great worth, and in great quantities, begins to cluster around an issue, it means that civilization has identified it finally as a threat.” (thanks to Roanne Dods/Clare Cooper for this quote)
Please comment with other examples of artists marking high water lines.
ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.
It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge Research, Gray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
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