Commissioned for the City of Perth’s TRANSART: TRANSITION 2017 public art program, _Foundations_2100_ is a conceptual seawall and sound artwork that acts as a public memorial to the year 2100.
This thought-provoking installation by Devon Ward and Kynan Tan is influenced by scientific studies that predict Perth’s riverfronts and beaches will flood and disappear by 2100.
_Foundations_2100_ is a conceptual seawall that acts as a public memorial to the year 2100, a time when Perth’s riverfront is expected to flood.
According to climate models created by Geoscience Australia, by the year 2100 sea levels could rise high enough to completely flood Perth’s foreshore, including Elizabeth Quay, Langley Park, Terrace Road and portions of Adelaide Terrace. While this model may or may not come to pass, _Foundations_2100_ uses it as fodder to create an absurd installation that intervenes on the daily activity Perth’s citizenry and draws attention to events that may occur after our lifetime.
_Foundations_2100_ is a sound installation that emulates the meta-architecture of a seawal. Typically, seawall construction requires an exterior timber frame for pouring concrete,
and the concrete itself, which ultimately becomes the seawall. However, _Foundations_2100_ only consists of an exterior timber frame that the public can meander along while listening to a sound composition based on wave data collected from weather buoys in the Indian and Pacific Ocean. The result will be a symbolic seawall that exists in the negative; it will be a surprising space–a passageway that hums with low bass tones and invites the public to momentarily break with the present and consider the future of Perth, a place impacted by changing weather and climate.
_Foundations_2100_ appropriates the aesthetics of construction to create a public dialogue with contemporary political issues, locally and internationally. One of Perth’s most dominant contemporary aesthetics is construction work: cranes throughout the skyline at Elizabeth Quay, steel support structures climbing upward near the Horseshoe Bridge, and scaffolds along Beaufort, Barrack and Wellington Streets. This project taps into the zeitgeist of Perth’s construction aesthetics and acts as a provocation, asking what kind of future does Perth want to build? At the same time, _Foundations_2100_ appropriates the aesthetics of wall-building and attempts to subvert the xenophobic sentiment that drives them; _Foundations_2100_ using a symbolic seawall to focus public attention on rising sea levels and the future implications of climate change.
If there was ever a reason to build a wall, it should be to stem the literal flow of tides, not to keep out refugees. By drawing on contemporary local and international construction aesthetics, _Foundations_2100_ offers the Perth public a space where they can contemplate their own desires for the future.
_Foundations_2100_ is an extension of Ward and Tan’s collaborative practice.
Contact name: Ashleigh Whyte
Phone: 08 9461 3181