Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson placed twenty-four blocks of glacier ice outside of the Tate Modern in London. He placed another six blocks outside the European headquarters of Bloomberg, also in London.
The installations, unveiled in December, are part of a series called Ice Watch, which Eliasson began in Copenhagen in 2014 at the release of IPCC’s fifth comprehensive report on the state of the world’s climate. He’s since continued his ice exhibitions outside of the Paris climate talks in 2015 and the most recent negotiations in Katowice, Poland.
Eliasson says the goal of the installations is to create a public dialogue about climate change.
The blocks of ice, now melted, are detached icebergs that were once part of Greenland’s Nuuk Glacier.
Greenland’s ice sheets are shrinking rapidly due to global warming. They’ve lost an average of 280 gigatons of ice per year between 2002 to 2016, according to NASA satellite data, contributing 0.03 inches per year to global sea level rise.
Eliasson hopes the installations allow people to understand climate change as a tangible event rather than an abstraction.
Visitor response has varied.
Instagram user Stuffbycookie commented: “It wasn’t teleported there! It was transported by fossil fuel away from where it is needed most!! All in the name of Art?!”
Another Instagram user said: “This exhibit is a good conversation starter and an obvious counter to science deniers. It might even change the mind. I think the Smithsonian would be a good place.”
Read more about the art and climate change on GlacierHub: