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Archive for Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chi Omega fountain’s Frozen Assets

Sculpture aims to bring focus to water, waste

The Chi Omega memorial fountain features plastic water bottles collected in less than a week by the staff at KU Recycling. The piece is by Matthew Farley, a senior in sculpture at The University of Kansas. The public art sculpture, Frozen Assets, will remain on display through January 2009.

The Chi Omega memorial fountain features plastic water bottles collected in less than a week by the staff at KU Recycling. The piece is by Matthew Farley, a senior in sculpture at The University of Kansas. The public art sculpture, Frozen Assets, will remain on display through January 2009.

December 18, 2008

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Chi Omega fountain turned into art project

A pile of recyclable objects is turned into art at KU's Chi Omega Fountain. Enlarge video

The Chi Omega memorial fountain features plastic water bottles collected in less than a week by the staff at KU Recycling. The piece is by Matthew Farley, a senior in sculpture at The University of Kansas. The public art sculpture, Frozen Assets, will remain on display through January 2009.

The Chi Omega memorial fountain features plastic water bottles collected in less than a week by the staff at KU Recycling. The piece is by Matthew Farley, a senior in sculpture at The University of Kansas. The public art sculpture, Frozen Assets, will remain on display through January 2009.

A Kansas University sculpture student has frozen the beauty of a popular campus landmark.

For a project in a public art class, Wichita senior Matthew Farley has constructed a display of plastic water bottles on the Chi Omega Fountain to make it appear the water is suspended in the freezing Kansas air.

“It’s an iconic feature of the campus, and I think it’s important to recognize what we have here on campus in terms of artwork,” said Matthew Farley, creator of “Frozen Assets.” “So it’s a really nice thing to have this kind of connection with.”

Farley’s project is meant to draw attention to water use and the environment. The bottles were collected in less than one week by KU Recycling staff members.

As part of his presentation, Farley mentions how much oil and water consumption is used to produce bottled water.

He said in 2007, KU students purchased 437,000 bottles on water on campus, and instead he advocates for people to have reusable water bottles. California-based company EcoUsable Inc. has helped sponsor Farley’s project.

For the project, he attached hundreds of clear water bottles to rebar to mimic water flowing from the center of the fountain, which was a gift from the Chi Omega sorority in 1955. Water does not flow in the fountain during the winter.

It looks like a frozen fountain from afar, especially with snow on the ground, but Farley’s counting on people taking a closer look.

“They might see that it is bottles, and that would hopefully make them think about the way they use water,” Farley said.

He had already assembled the bottles, and he put the sculpture in place Monday night. He had to gain permission to install the work from a public art committee on campus along with the KU Facilities and Operations and the sorority.

It will be in place until February.

“I wanted to approach the idea of a fountain and what that could mean and how it might be related to the way we consume water,” said Farley, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts this month.

Comments

KSChick1 6 years ago

it is very unique, I'm impressed at how great an idea this was!

MIke Mallory 6 years ago

I still drink water from a plastic bottle, prove to me that it ends up in the ocean, but still a pretty cool work of art.

hujiko 6 years ago

Try Sigg bottles, they are aluminum with an enamel coating on the inside that doesn't seep any chemicals into the beverage being carried.

ihatelv 6 years ago

Man you should have seen the dump I took this morning.. It was a piece of art....Seriously??? Art??? I thought you hippies in Lawrence had higher standards......

Matt Bowers 6 years ago

logrithmic, thank you for the heads up on the NY Times article. I am a history teacher at a high school in NC and run an environmental club. I am trying to impress upon my students the benefits of reusable bottles. The main problem is convincing them that it is an issue, they are a lot like lionbacker and ihatelv. I will use your blog in class tomorrow as an example.

Bad_Brad 6 years ago

Ironic that it is usually Liberal Progressives who I see with bottled water all the time. These people espouse strong environmental beliefs but yet practice one of the least green things you can do (drink bottled water).

BigPrune 6 years ago

It looks cool. I wonder what he did to keep the rebar from rusting?

persevering_gal 6 years ago

Very nice project with a great meaning behind it.

tunahelper 6 years ago

get a life people. I think I'm gonna go and drive my H3 around and burn up some cheap gasoline!

Shardwurm 6 years ago

"It will remain on display through January 2009 when it will be disassembled and thrown into the landfill and ocean."Sweet.

Chris Ogle 6 years ago

That is a bunch of bottles to collect in less than a week. Your message is clear... no pun intended

redmoonrising 6 years ago

Yep, they do end up in landfills and the ocean for all posterity. Someone sent me an email about the dangers of drinking from these plastic bottles, as well as other plastic packaging used in microwaves. Blushing as I admit I've done it myself. But is tap water really that dangerous for us or is it just the convenience and "chic" aspect that draws us to bottles? It's like the fat lady ordering a couple of Big Macs, large fries and diet Coke. I have to wonder how many years of drinking tap water it takes to kill me? A normal life span? I do reuse plastic bottles though. Those Gator Aid ones with the caps that close are great. I always carry something around with me to drink, water, juice, soda, and these work great. I just keep a couple on hand, wash them out and reuse over and over. All that said, I think this is a great idea. Gives the fountain a nice winter look and reuses some of our garbage. Especially nice with the snow backdrop.

daddax98 6 years ago

"get a life people. I think I'm gonna go and drive my H3 around and burn up some cheap gasoline!"H3? You tree hugging wuss

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