FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND PUBLIC ART FUND LAUNCH THE NEW YORK CITY WATERFALLS PUBLIC ART PROJECT BY ARTIST OLAFUR ELIASSON
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, Public Art Fund President Susan K. Freedman, and artist Olafur Eliasson today launched The New York City Waterfalls, a major work of public art that will be on display through October 13. The exhibition of four man-made waterfalls of monumental scale are on view on the shores of the New York waterfront: one on the Brooklyn anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge; one on the Brooklyn Piers, between Piers 4 and 5 near the Brooklyn Heights Promenade; one in Lower Manhattan at Pier 35 north of the Manhattan Bridge; and one on the north shore of Governors Island. The Waterfalls, which have been designed to protect water quality and aquatic life, will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays and Thursdays, when they will run from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Waterfalls will be lit after sunset. The Mayor, Deputy Mayor Harris and Ms. Freedman were joined by Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin, NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta, Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Public Art Fund Director Rochelle Steiner, and Tishman Construction Corporation Chairman and CEO Daniel Tishman.
"The Waterfalls are an unbelievable sight: four cascades ranging in height from 90 to 120 feet rising out of New York Harbor," said Mayor Bloomberg. "And what a beautiful symbol of the energy and vitality that we are bringing back to our waterfront in all five boroughs. Congratulations to Olafur Eliasson, the Public Art Fund and the many City, State and Federal agencies, and partners who played a role in bringing us to this momentous occasion."
"For over 30 years, the Public Art Fund has been presenting art projects in New York City's public spaces," said Susan K. Freedman, President of the Public Art Fund. "By commissioning Olafur Eliasson's The New York City Waterfalls, we are redefining public art as a vital force in the city and encouraging people to stop and look at their surroundings in a whole new way."
"In developing The New York City Waterfalls, I have tried to work with today's complex notion of public spaces," said Eliasson. "The Waterfalls appear in the midst of the dense social, environmental, and political tissue that makes up the heart of New York City. They will give people the possibility to reconsider their relationships to the spectacular surroundings, and I hope to evoke experiences that are both individual and enhance a sense of collectivity."
New Yorkers and visitors from around the world can experience the Waterfalls from various vantage points and also by bike or by boat. Circle Line Downtown, the official water tour operator of The New York City Waterfalls, is offering free and specially-priced daily boat tours to view the Waterfalls. A select number of free tickets for this official 30-minute journey is available for tours each day by calling (866) 925-4631. Organized by the Public Art Fund in partnership with Circle Line Downtown, the special boat trips departing from Pier 16, South Street Seaport in Manhattan, include an audio introduction by the artist, and provide up-close views of the Waterfalls. Tickets and schedules are available on the Circle Line website, linked to the official Waterfalls website: www.nycwaterfalls.org.
The always free Governors Island and Staten Island Ferries also provide views of the Waterfalls on Governors Island and at the Brooklyn Piers. The Staten Island Ferry runs daily, and the seven-minute Governor's Island Ferry is running every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the duration of the project.
A series of suggested vantage points around the waterfront in Brooklyn and Manhattan as well as at Governors Island are outlined in a free informational brochure available on www.nyc.gov. A temporary park has been specially created on Pier 1, a site of the future Brooklyn Bridge Park, for viewing this project. The Department of Transportation, in collaboration with the Public Art Fund, has created a bike route around the Waterfalls, which is marked by waterfall icons on the streets and existing bike paths. The public can also download podcasts of Eliasson's comments about the Waterfalls from the official website, and starting tomorrow can call 311 to hear them (212-NEW-YORK). The Public Art Fund, government agencies and environmental organizations have also developed resources for young people and adults to enjoy the Waterfalls. Partners include the City's Department of Education, Department of Environmental Protection and the US National Park Service, and environmental groups including Riverkeeper, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (MWA), New York Restoration Project (NYRP), as well as Urban Assembly's New York Harbor School, a public school that engages students through the study of the marine culture, history, and the environment of New York City and its surrounding waters.
The map of vantage points, the boat schedule, suggested bike routes and downloadable podcasts are available on www.nyc.gov. An activity booklet for summer camp groups will be made available in July, and educational guides including classroom lessons for students will be available in August.
The Public Art Fund, working in partnership with Tishman Construction Corporation, engaged a team of almost 200 design, engineering and construction professionals to build the Waterfalls. Construction scaffolding forms the backbone of the Waterfalls, and pumps cycle water from the East River to the top of each structure before it falls back into the River. Following the de-installation of the project in October, 90% of all the materials used to build The New York City Waterfalls will be re-used in subsequent construction projects.
The Waterfalls have been designed to be sensitive to the environment and include: elements that protect fish and aquatic life, energy efficient LED lights, and energy purchased from renewable sources. The Waterfalls will be temporarily turned off in the event of extreme winds or storms, or if there is a power shortage due to hot weather.
About the Artist
About Public Art Fund
The Public Art Fund is a non-profit art organization supported by generous contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations, and with funds from National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Stacy Bolton / Emily Gaynor (212) 721-5350
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