This week New Yorkers and tourists are abuzz about the 25-foot oil rigs that suddenly appeared around Times Square in Manhattan. I began to investigate after a friend shared a snapshot on Facebook yesterday. Here's what I learned after a quick Web search.
The rigs are actually a work of public art (and social commentary) by Josephine Meckseper who wanted to draw attention to how, in her opinion, rampent consumerism and wasting energy have become as American as apple pie. Meckseper explained her creation in a Art Production Fund press release, a non-profit which helped bring the concept to life:
“I hope to draw parallels between the American industrial system, transitioning from a past of heavy industry, factories, and teamsters and the disembodied present of electronic mass-media, surface advertising, and consumerism – so clearly embodied in Times Square,” explained Meckseper, “The critical placement of the pumps is a conceptual gesture that raises questions about business and capital; land use and resources; wealth and decay; decadence and dependence.”
If you keep a lookout public art can be frequently seen in Manhattan - the city Parks & Recreation department even sponsors it. Past exhibits have included "The Gates" and waterfalls on the East River. IBM even embraced the trend, celebrating its centennial with a public exhibition at Lincoln Center.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com