an immersive art installation by New Zealand-based artist Joseph Michael, produced in collaboration with environmental charity Project Pressure, will light up the United Nations General Assembly and Secretariat buildings in New York ahead of the UN’s Climate Action Summit and global school strikes, with an artwork unveiled to the public on Friday, September 20.
The installation will spotlight large-scale projections covering the outside of the UN with images of a massive iceberg, setting the scene for the voices of six young advocates, including Swedish student activist Greta Thunberg, commenting on the nature of the climate crisis and urgent actions that can, and must, be taken to minimize the consequences of climate change.
VOICES FOR THE FUTURE opens with an iteration of Joseph Michael’s artwork, Antarctica: while you were sleeping, showcasing powerful visuals of an iceberg slowly crashing down the sides of the 500-foot tall United Nations building, intended to bring the remoteness of the Antarctic to the core of urban New York. Part two of the installation, authored by the founder of Project Pressure Klaus Thymann, and visualised by Joseph Michael, features the voices of the six young advocates addressing their hopes and fears for the future, in relation to the climate crisis. Each of the six voices will speak one of the six official UN languages – Russian, Arabic, French, Spanish, English and Mandarin – and represent one of the world’s populated continents. The words of the voices will scroll the length of the building in tandem with a pulsating light, representing the increase in CO2 emissions that have taken place from the pre-industrial era up until present day.Composer Rhian Sheehan has created a musical soundscape which together with Michael’s work reflect how icebergs crack, shift and breathe in, revealing not just their immense scale, but also their fragility.
With the sides of the United Nations building serving as a canvas for the audio-visual installation, the audience will experience up close the beauty, size and sound of a colossal iceberg. Together with the messages from the younger generation, VOICES FOR THE FUTURE, will transform the UN into a glowing beacon, highlighting the climate crisis, underlining the need to preserve our world for future generations and the critical decisions to be made at the summit.
(Render of the projections courtesy of Joseph Michael.)