The Moment - Feb 22, 2020

With Columbia University's 'Year of Water,' Dutch Artist Daan Roosegaarde Returns an Immersive Virtual Flood to New York

  • September 18, 2019 14:16

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Waterlicht by Daan Roosegaarde
Studio Roosegaarde

Artists Are Featured in Columbia University's Year of Water Program Focused on Environment

Ahead of events like the Global Youth Strike for Climate on Friday, Sept. 20 and the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23, New York's Columbia University kicked off climate investigations this week with the launch of the Year of Water, its public program that focuses on Earth's most precious resource. The university will host exhibitions, lectures, screenings, symposia and research, and feature artists including the Danish-Icelandic visual artist Olafur Eliasson and Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde.

"Artists, writers, and thinkers working globally in multiple creative forms are very involved in issues surrounding water and climate change," said Carol Becker, Dean, School of the Arts. "It is exciting for the School of the Arts to spearhead the Year of Water and to play a central role in convening the institutes, schools, and programs at Columbia engaged in important research and action around these vital concerns."

Eliasson will visit Columbia on Sept. 26 to discuss his large-scale works related to climate change, such as Ice Watch, a creation of glacial ice blocks taken from a fjord in Greenland and placed in Copenhagen, Paris and London streets so that people could experience the act of melting glaciers. Advanced registration is closed for Eliasson's event, but there will be a standby line.

From October 22 to 24, Roosegaarde will present an immersive light installation called Waterlicht each evening in the plaza of the Lenfest Center for the Arts. The project, in various forms, has been shown previously at venues worldwide. It features LEDs, software, lenses, humidity and site specific location design to envelope viewers in a collective 'dream landscape' experience that addresses rising sea levels and the need for innovation. 

Last year, to mark World Water Day, the Netherlands presented Roosegaarde's Waterlicht New York, a large-scale virtual flood, at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

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