Lost in the Plastic Forest

The recent Figment 2009 event, held June 12-14 at Governors Island in New York, is described as “a FREE, annual celebration of participatory art and culture where everything is possible.”

One possiblity realized was “Watershed” an eco-installation from MSLK that ties together, literally, the many senseless aspects of bottled water consumption in the West. From the Figment 2009 website,

“Watershed” is a man-made forest of 1,500 plastic water bottles collected from the New York City area, which serves as a visual representation of one second of U.S. consumption. Out of the 50 billion bottles of water consumed each year, 80% of these bottles are currently not being recycled. Bottled water is 1,900 times more expensive than tap water, and the toxins emitted by it have been linked to serious health problems, such as reproductive issues and cancers. “Watershed” was created with the hope that viewers will shed the notion that they need to buy water in plastic bottles. If we are looking to better the environment, water is a great place to start, since we have the best quality water coming out of our taps.

Photos by Katie Killary on Flickr

If you’re wondering who threaded and hung all those bottles, MSLK’s website features a prequel to the main event with a video that documents the nuts and bolts of building “Watershed.”   

Watershed Assembly at MSLK 5/24/09 from MSLK on Vimeo.