Some of the more insidious factors enabling the constant and dangerous advance of global warming are a lack of public awareness or acceptance and the feeling that it’s not a problem relevant to my everyday life. One potentially effective way of tackling these particular issues, then, could be through art: specifically through large in-your-face, impossible-to-ignore, publicly-visible art projects designed to bring the issue to the forefront of the mind of the incidental viewer.
This is precisely the aim of the debut project of the Precipice Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about global warming and environmental issues through public art. The project, entitled “Indestructible Language”, is the latest creation of artist Mary Ellen Carroll, and, as you might be able to tell, it could make quite an impression:
On the windows of the highly-visible former American Can factory buildings in Jersey City, New Jersey, is spelled out, in eight-foot high bright red letters, the phrase “IT IS GREEN THINKS NATURE EVEN IN THE DARK.” Now, I’ll admit that this is a little artsy and obscure for the writer of this blog, but it’s hard to deny that it’s a bold statement:
Mary Ellen Carroll’s artwork explores language as a loop, a reiterative device that highlights the issues. “IT IS”: the issue is of extreme relevance; the hazards of greenhouse gas emissions are proven scientific fact. “GREEN”: colloquially connotes money, greenhouse gas, and environmental issues. “THINKS”: human capability to engage in cognitive acts. “NATURE” echoes “GREEN” and an arena extending beyond the individual. “EVEN”: this is a non-partisan issue. “IN THE DARK”: it will only be illuminated at night and the choice to not engage in the issue is a choice to remain in the dark.
Just as importantly, the work puts its money where its mouth is, so to speak. It is “carbon neutral” in that it uses energy-efficient low-wattage lighting and is powered by a combination of solar panels and energy offset by green tags from Bonneville Environmental Foundation.
Clearly, what is most needed right now in the fight against global warming (especially here in the U.S.) is a little bit of political will. With that said, though, certainly “Indestructible Language” is an innovative new way of addressing this issue, and one can only imagine what kind of an impact such projects could have, especially if carried out on a large scale.