Watershed Ellis Island 2016

“WATERSHED” was installed as an immersive video projection on the floor of the lobby of the Customs House at Ellis Island in April 2016. The work was commissioned by Generation Investment Management, a London- based investment firm which focuses on the full integration of sustainability analysis into investment decision making.

I see WATERSHED as a new and different kind of public art/public space initiative. It highlights how climate change is impacting people’s lives in intimate ways, affecting where we can live, what we can eat, and our physical and emotional health. At the same time, this work serves communities in a unique way by providing an engaging and encompassing virtual seascape where viewers are brought into dialogue with each other and their surroundings as well as with the work itself. By transforming the urban landscape into a virtual sea, WATERSHED has entered into the current dialogue about our need for better infrastructure and catalyzes community awareness of the city’s relationship to water.

Until Hurricane Sandy, most New Yorkers navigated the landscape of New York City unaware of their proximity to the water. The flooding caused by hurricane Sandy was a painful wakeup call to the fact that we are island dwellers, living in close proximity to the ocean. Faced with the possible recurrence of this disaster, WATERSHED for New York will ask New Yorkers need to push our new consciousness to the next level and work together to halt the warming of the Atlantic Ocean and the rising of its tides. It is my hope that WATERSHED can serve the community by heightening awareness about the future of New York and other waterfront cities in the world as we face this global disaster.

WATERSHED is currently being considered for waterfront sites in NYC for the fall of 2016.