Artist Olafur Eliasson and geologist Minik Rosing have made a visually striking contribution to the climate debate with ‘ice watch’ copenhagen city hall square
Olafur and Rosing are placing a monumental, 100 tonnes of inland ice collected from a fjord outside nuuk, greenland onto the danish city streets. the twelve large blocks of ice are to be displayed in the formation of a clock, serving as a physical wake-up call that temperatures are rising, the ice is melting and sea levels continue to rise. the project has been conceived to mark the publication of, and to draw attention to, the fifth assessment report of the UN intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), which contains assessments of knowledge about climate change and its consequences.
‘today we have access to reliable data that shed light on what will happen and what can be done. let’s appreciate this unique opportunity – we, the world, must and can act now.’ eliasson and rosing say ‘let’s transform climate knowledge into climate action.’
‘as an artist, I am interested in how we give knowledge a body. what does a thought feel like, and how can felt knowledge encourage action? ice watch makes the climate challenges we are facing tangible. I hope that people will touch the inland ice on city hall square and be touched by it. perception and physical experience are cornerstones in art, and they may also function as tools for creating social change. we are all part of the ‘global we’; we must all work together to ensure a stable climate for future generations.’ — olafur eliasson
‘ice is a wonderful, peculiar substance. just as the progress of our civilizations has been tied to the coming and going of the ice ages, so, too, are our future destiny and the destiny of ice tied together. through our actions we are now close to terminating the period of stable climate that served as the condition for civilizations to arise and flourish. science and technology have made it possible for us to destabilise earth’s climate, but now that we understand the mechanisms behind these changes, we have the power to prevent them from growing.’ — minik rosing