Olafur Eliasson‘s work provides a sensory and dispersive experience for the viewer; elements such as light, air, fog, water, and even sound are employed in his installations and public art projects. The artist is influenced by both the built environment and natural elements, and his artistic practice moves between the public and private sectors. Eliasson has previously completed commercial works for Louis Vuitton and BMW.
The New York City Waterfalls was commissioned by the Public Art Fund and includes four monumental waterfalls located beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, between Brooklyn’s Piers 4 and 5, at Lower Manhattan’s Pier 35, and one on the north shore of Governors Island. The water plunges 90-120 feet, and can be seen from land and water (ferry tours are available). The falls are constructed of scaffolding, a ubiquitous New York City material, and were built by a team of engineers, architects, and ecologists. Filters protect wildlife and the falls run on green energy provided by ConEd. When viewed from the harbor, the water gently mists over the viewer and the loud roar of cascading water is heard. New York harbor has been a gateway to immigrants for centuries, and the artist has stated, “I hope to evoke experiences that are both individual and enhance a sense of collectivity.”
Eliasson’s previous projects include The Weather Project at the Tate Modern‘s Turbine Hall in 2003. The installation, which included a giant sun made of 200 yellow lamps, mirrors and mist attracted over 2 million visitors during its five month run.
The New York City Waterfalls will be de-installed on October 13th and 90% of all materials will be re-used in construction projects. A map of vantage points, boat schedules, and suggested bike routes are available at www.nyc.gov.