Beachfront Potential is a public art project that filters the relationships between sustainability, aesthetics and leisure time by playfully reimagining familiar beach vernaculars as portents of sea level rise – in the heart of an urban community.
For several months in the summer and fall, a series of custom-built lifeguard chairs will be placed in key locations in Ballston, along the line of a hypothetical beach predicted by an online visualization of projected sea level rise. Passersby’s are invited to sit, relax and ponder this hypothetical future through virtual engagement that can be accessed at each site.
As digitally envisioned, this new edge of the Atlantic Ocean will create a line that runs through the heart of Ballston. Participants who visit each set of chairs will be invited to interface with geo-location enabled content specific to each site – ranging from pedagogical texts to interviews and footage from scientists and research environments to a web-based game featuring a nostalgic water side pastime.
By situating participants as the lifeguards of this Beachfront Potential, albeit temporarily, this intervention uses the language of leisure and an oscillation between the physical and the digital to present questions of agency, watchfulness, responsibility and escapism.
The Ballston BID thanks the Nature Conservancy for hosting this project, which is presented as part of the Public Displays of Innovation exhibition, and is not part of any Nature Conservancy program. The concept for the project, and the content, were developed solely by the artist and do not reflect any programs or positions of the Nature Conservancy.