Eliasson frequently alters the public’s perception of the environment through his art projects, addressing problems and proposing practical solutions.
In 2012, together with solar engineer Frederik Ottesen, he designed and launched Little Sun, a social enterprise that produces and distributes solar-powered LED lights.
The lanterns are designed to provide a safe, healthy solution for the nearly one quarter of the world’s population that do not have access to electricity.
‘Through our actions we are now close to terminating the period of stable climate that served as the condition for civilisations 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, Professor of Geology, the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen
The Bloomberg connection
Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and three-term Mayor of New York City, also serves as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change. He is co-hosting the Climate Summit for Local Leaders with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo at Paris City Hall on 04 December.
‘Ice Watch is a great example of how public art can draw attention to big challenges and spur people to action.
Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and three-term Mayor of New York City
Depending on weather conditions, Ice Watch is expected to be on view until 11 December, the last day of the conference. Remaining ice will then be brought to local schools and cultural institutions as part of an extended community educational programme.
The project will be realised in collaboration with Julie’s Bicycle, a leading not-for-profit organisation advocating sustainability in the cultural and creative industries.
‘I am delighted to support this exciting and positive initiative, which will not only help those most vulnerable to climate change through the donation of funds raised, but also help to promote COP21 as a critical opportunity for nations to adopt a durable universal climate agreement.
‘I hope that the artwork can inspire ambitious choices which lead to combatting both climate change and desertification.’
Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
Ice Watch is featured on ArtCOP21 with over 300 other arts events, which are supporting the talks as well as a symposium for cultural policy makers facilitated by COAL, On the Move and Julie’s Bicycle.
Ice Watch is a core project of the initiative Artists4ParisClimate2015, which was launched to mobilise public opinion around climate change through interventions in public space by major international artists.
On 09 December, a charity auction will be conducted at Christie’s Paris; artworks will be sold in support of UN-selected NGO projects to combat desertification and climate change.
Click here to find out more about Ice Watch Paris.