Oh, look: The Netherlands made another amazing contribution to the enviro-art world! After the debut of the “Starry Night” glow-in-the-dark bike lane and the in-the-works plans for the Wind Wheel, who here is actually surprised?
The art installment, which Roosegaarde calls a “virtual flood,” projects blue LED lights into the foggy skies to form a human-made aurora borealis over an acre of land along the IJssel river in Westervoort. The glowing fog is supposed to be representative of the land that would be drowned if the river’s levies collapsed. Designboom explains further:
when walking along the river’s dike (walls used to regulate water levels), luminous lines are perceived as high water. once in the flood channel, visitors become immersed in an underwater expanse. “in ‘waterlight’ people experience what the netherlands would look like without their dykes” says hein pieper, chairman of water board rhine and ijssel. “awareness is crucial, because the dutch (water) artworks need every day maintenance and our national water awareness is the foundation of that maintenance” pieper adds, referring to the OECD report published last year that concludes that dutch water works are unparalleled by any other country, but that awareness remains at low levels.
So basically, Roosegaarde’s latest work is an acre-wide thank-you to the country’s dedicated engineers. It’s as stunning as it is eerie. It might be a darker concept (figuratively, not literally) than the glow-in-the-dark bike lane, but damn are the Dutch full of bright ideas.