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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Five tonnes of ocean waste turned into installation art

Some 150 million tonnes of plastic is afloat in the oceans, contributing to the destruction of plant and animal life. In 2018, Brooklyn-based Studio KCA used 5 tonnes of waste collected from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to build a breathtaking, awareness-raising installation.

The artists call the over 11.5 metres tall statue of a leaping whale Skyscraper (The Bruges Whale), created for the Bruges Triennal. The sculpture was built in order to draw attention to the present condition of our environment, and to the huge quantity of waste that ends up in the oceans as a result of human activity.

Heads of Studio KCA Jason Klimoski and Lesley Chang aimed to draw a parallel with the theme of the 2018 Bruges Triennial, the ‘liquid city’. The statue of the whale built from plastic waste worked as a sign symbolising how the end results of the growing production and consumption of cities often end up in the oceans.

Photos: Studio KCA/studiokca.com

Studio KCA cooperated with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund to collect the plastic used in the installation over a period of 4 months. While they selected and sorted the waste, they also conducted a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to finance the costs of building and transporting the sculpture.

“Pound for pound, there is more
plastic waste from our cities swimming in the ocean than there are whales.
A whale, breaching from the water,
is the first ‘skyscraper of the sea,’
and as the largest mammal in the water, it felt like the right form for our piece
to take in order to show the scope
and the scale of the problem,”
the artists wrote.

The four storey-tall, spectacular installation made of several tonnes of plastic waste rose from the slowly flowing waters of a Bruges canal, casting an ominous shadow over the people gathered below it and highlighting the staggering physical mass of the waste that is discharged into the oceans day after day.

Video: Vimeo/STUDIOKCA
Further information: My Modern Met

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