As Donald Trump withdraws the United States from the Paris climate deal, performance art in a giant water tank evokes climate change reality in New York's Times Square.
In a huge transparent aquarium in downtown New York, performers are deluged with water in an installation that "viscerally connects everyday actions to climate change," said the World Science Festival organizers overseeing the event.
As the tank rapidly fills, empties and refills with water, individuals inside who are attempting to work, read the paper or perform household chores somersault, dive and struggle to stay afloat.
The "Holoscenes" installation, running June 1-3 in New York, has already exhibited in London, Miami, Sarasota and Toronto. But its creator said Times Square - "the most famous public space in the world" - was the perfect setting, especially as Trump made good on his promise to quit the Paris climate agreement.
"I wanted to actually move 3,500 gallons of water very fast with a human body in the midst of it, because I think that makes people feel something in their gut," said Lars Jan, artistic director of the Early Morning Opera performance and art lab who aims to raise awareness about climate change.
To really bring home the impact of rising sea levels, the tank can fill with almost 11 tons of water in 45 seconds. It's a symbolic illustration of how residents in low-lying countries such as Nauru, the Seychelles or the Maldives could soon be deluged in a similar way.
"Climate is the focus of our footprint here this year," said Brian Greene, co-founder of the World Science Festival, which again is aiming to change public perceptions about science on its 10th anniversary.
Trump's intention to make the United States one of only three countries not signed up to the Paris climate agreement was "very disturbing," Greene said.
"Science is something that should unite the world," he added. "And for people to not feel connected to these vital ideas, that is disastrous for the future."
Further highlighting the theme of sustainability through performance, the Times Square festival is also fitted with an interactive dance floor that translates human movement into electric power and gives festival goers the chance the dance their way into a clean green future.
sb/eg (AFP, dpa)