PROJECTS: Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)
LOCATION: Bruges, Belgium
SIZE: 38' high, 38' wide (fin to fin), 12' diameter
SCOPE: Public Art, Installation
"Skyscraper is a physical example of why we need to change how we use and dispose of plastic in the world today" -Lesley Chang, Principal, STUDIOKCA
5 tons of plastic waste pulled out of the Pacific Ocean, turned into a 4 story tall whale for the 2018 Bruges Triennial - a reminder of the 150,000,000 tons of plastic waste still swimming in our waters
The organizers of the 2018 Bruges Triennial, approached us to create an artpiece interpreting the idea of the “liquid city”, a concept that defines the city as an ever changing set of consumer transactions, whose identity is in flux as cities grow more and more connected through globalization.
Our first thought led us to thinking about the biggest liquid city on the planet (the ocean), how it connects us all, and how the waste produced and consumed in our cities, specifically plastic waste, ends up in the ocean.
SO, we proposed collecting as much plastic waste out of the oceans that we could in 4 months, and shaping that waste into Skyscraper, an almost 4 story tall whale pushing out of one of Bruges' main canals, and arching over historic Jan Van Eyck Square at the city's center.
Skyscraper was selected along with 14 other installations proposed by a select group of international artists and architects to be brought to life for the event!
Scientists estimate there are 150 million tons of plastic trash in the ocean right now, with an estimated 8 million tons added every year. That means, pound for pound, there is more plastic waste from our cities swimming in the ocean than there are whales. A whale, breaching from the water, is the first "skyscraper of the sea", and as the largest mammal in the water, it felt like the right form for our piece to take in order to show the scope and scale of the problem.
Working with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund and the Surfrider Foundation Kaui Chapter, we were able to pull over 5 tons of plastic to create Skyscraper.
For a video of the process see:
Thank you to our sponsor: Triennale Brugge
Special thanks to: Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Surfrider Foundation Kauai Chapter, Thornton Tomasetti, Fourth State Metals, Luma Projects. Additional thanks to: Young Brothers, Matson.
Thank you to our Kickstarter supporters, and a special supporter recognition to our Day in Bruges and A Whale of a Friend supporters: T. Leysen, D. Griesinger, J. Kasten, D. Hsiao, J. Lin.