Erin Blakemore for the The Washington Post - 9 September 2018
A trip to a New York park may offer an emblematic view of the Manhattan skyline and New York Harbor, or a relaxing glimpse of green foliage. But these days, those scenes may be partially blocked by a blinking sign with an unusual message.
They’re the kind of digital boards usually used to announce traffic shifts or construction delays. But these signals blare out messages such as “CLIMATE CHANGE AT WORK” and “NO ICEBERGS AHEAD.”
The signs are the work of Justin Brice Guariglia, an artist and environmental activist whose work is sanctioned by the city. Called “Climate Signals,” the exhibit runs through Nov. 6.
Presented by the Climate Museum, in partnership with the mayor’s office, the exhibition includes 10 solar-powered signs installed in parks around the city. Each sign flashes climate-change-related phrases in English and in Spanish, Russian, French and other languages used in nearby neighborhoods.
The signs point to some of the projected consequences of climate change, including rising sea levels, melting ice caps and the health hazards of humans’ dependence on fossil fuels. They were designed to prompt people to think of their city as a place where those changes are already happening.
The museum is encouraging people to visit all 10 signs, photograph them and tag them “#ClimateSignalsNYC” on social media. People who complete the circuit will receive merchandise related to the exhibition, whose website includes detailed maps.
There will also be special events in each borough, including an environmental justice walking tour in West Harlem and a solar photography workshop in the Bronx. A free opening reception at the Governors Island Admiral House, home of the installation, will be held on Sept. 21. (RSVP required.)