Opening night on 1 October was a blast

INSTALLATION – 8 October 2009 – “Today 2/6/09 it was reported that the oceans are becoming more acidic. This is yet another in a series of markers on the road to irreversible damage of our environment.

“When the oceans reach a certain point in this cycle all life within the water dies leading to death on such a large
scale that the decaying bio-mass will create a future store of liquid oil equal to the stores we have burnt. The cycle
is thus completed and we as humans may not survive.

“So do we raise the bar?

“Do we build a bar?

“Do we measure the bar?”

These are the questions asked by  Richard Goodwin – public art, Russell Lowe – digital gaming/architecture and Adrian McGregor – landscape architecture, in their design of a public art installation to mark the start of the “7 metre Bar” in Underwood Street, Circular Quay Sydney for the start of the Art and About Exhibition last week.

“At an elevation of seven metres the bar marks a reading of possible worst case sea level rise at the turn of the Century,” the trio say.

“At eight metres, Underwood Street will be underwater with tidal surges and the flotsam and jetsam of our civilisation. Cars, boats, building materials and bodies will be tangled within its columns like seaweed at the edge of beaches.

“Our proposal for Underwood Street celebrates inaction on climate change with a drinking bar built inside the detritus of our age of progress and rampant capitalism.

“Its doormat is the marking of contours from circular quay, along Pitt Street & into the lane.

“These identify the number of people across the globe displaced by each 0.5m increase in sea level.

“The bar responds to visiting crowds and their collective inaction with the force of virtual weather. This weather, projected through digital beamers and broadcast through sound speakers in the  installation, builds in its ferocity as a response to increasing numbers.

“Harnessing the power of computer gaming engines a digital replication of the street will unite computer imagery with filmed reality to create an atmosphere of confusion and excitement. Participants will see and feel the consequences of their inaction.

“At what point do we raise or lower the bar?

‘The bar is a reaction to  our progressive drowning until at 75m depth, Sydney to the Blue Mountains is
swallowed for all time as the North & South polar icecaps dissappear entirely.

‘This installation is a place of questions. It is interactive as a place of drinking and entertainment and interactive
in the intensity of the message each participant takes home.

“As a collaboration the work combines the landscape of weather and topography with the physicality of the
architecture of catastrophe and the technology of digital games.”

The 7 metre Bar will be open every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 4 pm for three months.

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