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Plastic Water Pop-Up

Alto Gallery took a short break from its current six-week exhibition to host a special three-night only pop-up installation entitled "Plastic Water." A collaboration of street artist and painter Thomas Scharfenberg, street artist and wheatpaster Koko Bayer, and new media artist Chris Bagley, "Plastic Water" invited viewers into an immersive, multisensory environment aimed at bringing awareness to the alarming environmental issue of plastic waste in our oceans and waterways.

Upon entering the gallery, viewers were greeted by a robotic-sounding pre-recorded message - emanating from a bin of "Plastic Water"-branded water bottles - giving a brief overview of the show's aims. Viewers were then led down a spiraling, serpentine pathway of sights, sounds, and smells toward the centerpieces: a wall of informational wheatpastes partly based on Herbert Bayer (Koko's grandfather) designs opposite a glowing movie screen covered in watery digital projections.

Along the way, viewers encountered corrugated fiberglass walls adorned with painted patterns, a draping array of firehoses hanging from the rafters, a rotating duck in a water jug, an interactive projection piece, and light bubbles on the floor spiraling from glowing columns, all while being followed by the meandering scent of intoxicating incense.

Over the three-night duration, elements of the show changed through addition and subtraction, giving viewers a slightly different experience each night, while recalling water's nature and that of our rapidly changing environment.

Photos are from the May 19 - 21 exhibition.

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