An art installation exploring the crisis of climate change debuted at Burning Man last week by internationally recognized artist-engineer Jen Lewin. The art installation, The Last Ocean, explores the issue of plastic pollution in the oceans, our warming planet, decreasing natural resources, and the urgency to find a solution.
Lewin is based in Brooklyn, New York, and has been creating art for over 27 years. She loves to create artwork that unties nature and technology while attempting to connect human experiences. The Last Ocean, like her work, surrounds the natural world and calls for action on the fragile ocean ecosystems that are being overrun by pollution.
For the project, Lewin teamed up with Ocean Plastic Technologies, a South African-based company that is taking ocean-bound and post-consumer plastics to create a circular economy. Lewin was able to source over 10,912 pounds of recycled plastic and 9,268 pounds of glass fiber and recycled composites from beaches in South Africa to create her work of art.
“Forged in dialog around climate change and sustainability, The Last Ocean not only seeks to inspire and educate but aids in the recovery of our planet,” said Jen Lewin. “I was inspired to create a transformative experience that brings awareness to the inescapable statistics pointing to the decline of our natural ecosystems. Through the creation of The Last Ocean, we hope to empower other artists to consciously create work in a sustainable manner.”
The artwork was inspired by the book “The Last Ocean: Antarctica’s Ross Sea Project: Saving the Most Pristine Ecosystem on Earth” by John Weller. The book features photos collected from Antarctica’s Ross Sea, which inspired Lewin to begin drawing her fractures interactive ice field to spread awareness about the Ross Sea.
The Last Ocean is composed of 250 interlocking platforms with over 70,000 RGB LED lights in millions of colors as participants can move around the installation. During the day, the installation glows with the swirled blue and white recycled ocean plastic. At night, the installation glows with the lights, which cycle through curated colors as participants interact with the artwork. As the exhibition continues, the lights will begin to fade, prompting them to think about their impact on the environment.
After Burning Man, The Last Ocean will travel to exhibitions all over the world. Check out these 8 Eco Artists You Should Know About!
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