Thursday, February 26, 2009

Art for Water - 13,699

Five million people die every year from water-related diseases. When artist Christine Destrempes learned of this statistic she wondered why there was no alarm sounding. She calculated how many people die every day - 13,699 - and decided to find a way to present the number visually.

Her installation, 13,699, is created to raise awareness of the number of people who die every day from water-related diseases because they do not have access to clean water. To symbolize these deaths, one clear plastic water bottle cap is used to represent each person. The object of this installation is to present the opportunity to experience physically the magnitude of this humanitarian crisis statistic.

The choice of using plastic bottle caps calls attention to other related environmental issues surrounding bottled water, such as privatization, depletion of aquifers, the environmental impact of plastic waste, the use of fossil fuels in making plastic, the carbon footprint of shipping bottled water, and the leaching of plastic into water sources. Purchasing bottled water turns a basic human right into a commodity, affecting access for people worldwide.

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