This is a long overdue post, so late in fact that the artwork in question has now ended, but it’s still absolutely worth commenting on. Over the last few months mysterious rings appeared encircling London’s columns. They were placed some way up the columns and at night they lit up, glowing neon blue.
These blue rings were the work of artist Michael Pinksy and made up an installation called Plunge. Now that the clocks have gone forward, the lighter evenings mean the work would be less visible and the installation was taken down on April 1st. However, during the dark winter nights they have been a striking addition to the city landscape.
The project was all about the possible impact of climate change on our environment. Pinsky describes his work as:
“a simple, elegant statement placed on three monuments in central London. A string of low energy blue LED lights wrapped around each monument marks a time, 1000 years in the future, when sea level rises have changed the city beyond recognition.
The monuments are ones that are passed every day by hundreds of thousands of people, whether tourists who stop to photograph them, or commuters who walk by every day without seeing them. Plunge offers an opportunity to see them in a new light, to think about their place in our history and their place in the city.
Together, the Plunge monuments create an arc across central London, following the line of a future Thames that has swallowed much of the capital in its wake.”
Below is the dramatic infographic ‘When Sea Levels Attack!’ by David McCandless which Pinsky references in his Plunge project. He says, “A height of 28 metres above current sea level was chosen for Plunge as an extreme illustration of what could happen if we continue with a ‘business as usual’ emissions scenario (without changing anything we do today).”
There is so much information and storytelling going on behind the placement of these rings around London. I just hope that people were curious enough to find out what their meaning was after seeing them as they walked by.
Here is Michael Pinsky talking about Plunge over a timelapse of the installation on the Duke of York Column.
Below is a photo I took of the Plunge ring in Paternoster Square. Appropriately enough I snapped this pic a few weeks ago when leaving the London Stock Exchange where I had just attended the launch of the Clean and Cool Mission.
Clean and Cool is a trade mission for environmental tech startups that has just returned from a week in San Francisco promoting amazing new sustainable technologies to potential investors. The blue ring of Plunge also matched the blue circular logo of Clean and Cool. A more appropriate brand tie in I could not think of. I think Michael Pinsky will be pleased to hear about these entrepreneurs who are definitely not following ‘business as usual’.