Remember “the Gates” offering to Time Warner at Columbus Circle? This massively successful offering produced record breaking prosperity to the tune of $254 million.
“the Gates” became art in its transfer of inspiration. Taking the Japanese Torri gates; fulfilling their promise of prosperity and funnel-down inspiration to the art and media world to further their prosperity. It was a good thing.
“Successful Japanese businessmen traditionally purchased a gate in gratitude to Inari, the god of worldly prosperity.”–the Gates Wiki
The value to society for the Gates was its collective memory. The ability of New York City and those who live outside the City’s Gates to parody a place that even Andy Warhol would not have gone to in commercial art. See further: The Gates: An Experiment in Collective Memory.
The Gates was a successful social experiment by Michael Bloomberg.
Public art installations will be Mr. Bloomberg’s legacy. In a big way he has allowed public art to grow to a new level of world involvement.
On June 26 Mr. Bloomberg debuts his finale invitation to the citizens of the world. Come one, come all June 26 – October, 2008 to Manhattan, New York City. A daytime magic show lead by Iceland’s Olafur Eliasson; an extravaganza of towered waterfalls.
Mr. Eliasson is credited with dyeing waters in Bremen, Germany; Los Angeles and Tokyo; and creating a small flood in Johannesburg.
Soon he will have achieved unnatural waterfalls to perfection under the Brooklyn Bridge. Governors Island, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and Pier 35.
The New York City trick so far has been to take $15.5 million and achieve construction and environmental excellence through Tishman Construction Corporation consultant services and twenty permits from Department of Environmental Conservation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard, etc. To date the work has not produced one significant environmentalists’ protest.
Alas, the “how will this splash inspire us” remains to be seen.
The artist Olafur Eliasson says of his art. “It will make New Yorkers appreciate the water which they take for granted.'”He wants his audience to know how wonderful waterfalls are. He says, “Art investigates Society.”
Personally, so far, in public art installations I found that Society investigates Art.
Mr. Eliasson’s reverse introspection holds some as yet unseen promise.
Will it make the island cooler?
Will there be unforeseen water problems come upshore into the islands?
The Public Art fund has purchased renewable-energy credits. Each waterfall pump will be driving on 300 horsepower all day long.
Where will those renewable-energy credits go?
Will water life be protected?
Micromesh nets of the intake-filter pools will protect most water life.
Wouldn’t it be nice if such art could actually provide something great to the environment instead of taking away from it?
The scaffolding for the waterfalls will sit on a bond-breaker that will leave the waterfall site untouched when it is removed in October 2008.
Reference: New York Magazine: “The Falls Guy“