Location: NEW YORK, NY, United States
Completion date: 2022
Artwork budget: $750,000
Jen Lewin Studio
Jen Lewin Studio
THE LAST OCEAN, created by American contemporary artist, Jen Lewin, explores the crisis of plastic pollution in our oceans, a warming planet, dwindling natural resources, and the need for aggressive systemic change. How do we address and mitigate the issues our planet faces as a global community?
The installation, an expansive landscape of interactive platforms, is illuminated by community engagement. Created from reclaimed ocean plastic, this work evokes a luminesce ice field composed of geometric tessellations that form the glacial body of Antarctica.
During the day, the platforms will highlight the transformation of reclaimed ocean plastic; their surfaces a swirl of blue and white particulates. At night, The Last Ocean will glow vibrant with interactive light. Cycling through a palette of curated colors, the platforms will react as participants splash and dance in the waves of light, illuminating the powerful nature of our oceans.
Rethinking Public Art
The Last Ocean redefines public artwork as an interactive landscape. Our hope is that this work will inspire and educate but also – through the use of reclaimed ocean plastic – encourage the recovery of our oceans and our planet.
“We estimate that at least 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tons are currently floating at sea.” Eriksen M, Lebreton, et al.
Ultimately, we believe that humans need to put an end to the appalling levels of single- or limited-use plastic production. However with hundreds of thousands of tons of plastic already in the ocean, we knew it was important to attack the problem on multiple fronts.
Pioneering New Technology
Creation of The Last Ocean has been a multi-year journey requiring that our studio entirely re-think our own fabrication processes. We hope that this hands-on exploration can inspire other artists, designers, fabricators, and plastic manufacturers to reconsider their own direct role in the protection and conservation of our planet.
“There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere.” – Annie Leonard
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