The Danish art collective Superflex will splash the façade of the United Nations headquarters in New York with a climate-conscious video projection during the UN General Assembly next week. The 20-minute video Vertical Migration (2021) will be shown as a 145-metre projection on the north side of the glass building from 21-24 September on a three-hour loop starting at 8pm.
The work shows the sinuous form of a colossal siphonophore, an aggregate colony of marine invertebrates with specialised segments that work together as one to enhance group survival, evoking the need for global collaboration amid the climate crisis. The siphonophore also plays a key role in removing accumulated carbon from the sea, the collective explains in a statement to The Art Newspaper.
A series of lioz coral sculptures titled Interspecies Assembly (2020) will also be installed at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park. The work aims to conceptually “foster friendly relations among species and nurture interspecies living”, the collective adds. “It asks humans to pause and attempt to see the world from the perspective of other life forms.”
The works have been commissioned for an undisclosed amount by the TBA21—Academy and the non-profit organisation Art 2030, which was founded to fund art experiences and other public programmes related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The collection of 17 recommendations for a more sustainable future, which was published in 2015 and urges UN members to transition to greener economies, is not on track to achieving its target in 2030 and setbacks have been exacerbated amid the pandemic.
The Copenhagen-based collective Superflex, which is made of the artists Jakob Fenger, Rasmus Rosengren Nielsen and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, are known for works that encourage collaboration, and that are imbued with political and environmental activism. Their commission One Two Three Swing! for the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2017—a vast series of interconnected swings—aimed to consider the potential of collective action in combating economic and climate challenges.