The Wave

2021, Ann Arbor.

#art #competitions #urban #objects #justforfun
Alleys are the digestive tract of the city. Their purpose is to hide, contain and excrete the things we would rather not see – the smoking waiters, the early morning deliveries, the endless piles of trash. This sleight–of–hand allows us to pretend that the colourful shop fronts, the glittering displays and the freshly laid tables are all that there is.The deadly fiction of main street washes up continuously on foreign shores, is dumped into foreign streams or collected by foreign hands. It is the deepest irony of climate change that what we set out to ignore is destined to end us.

Of these fictions, plastics are one of the most egregious. A material whose most important property is its ability to last forever is used counterintuitively as a disposable at a rate of almost 300 million metric tons a year. Less than 10% of that is recycled with the rest largely going to landfill or winding up in our ecosystem.

‘The Wave’ first and foremost aims to draw attention to our ignored civic digestion. Created from recycled plastics woven on to a wire form, it surges out of the entrance like a supervillain springing from a forgotten lair. Yet, as you draw nearer, you see the wave is also beautiful, with the blue–tinted light speckling down onto the floor and on to the inbuilt seats. Behind the wave’s crest, stairs lead to a viewing platform on top of the barrel which can also be used as a podium. Looking back out to the street the plastic wave covers the view of all but the upper floors like a premonition of a flooded future–world.

Even in Ann Arbor, the wave will get you.

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