Upper School News

Planet Blues: The Environmental Club visits the Arcadia Earth Museum
Posted 01/08/2020 01:27PM

During winter break, dedicated members of The Environmental Club -- together with Ms. Benel -- made great use of their time by taking a field trip to the Arcadia Earth Museum in downtown Manhattan. Arcadia Earth is designed to engage all the senses in an immersive exhibition. It utilizes a myriad of techniques to create this experience, including virtual reality, projection mapping, and interactive environments. The goal of this project is to install the viewers as if surrounded by the aquatic environment (without getting wet), while raising awareness about the current environmental crisis. Visitors are educated on how to live more sustainably, produce less waste, and decrease their carbon footprint.

The display consists of a series of rooms - illuminated by video projections - where walls appear to be a part of the ocean. Other areas are decorated with ornate sculptures made from trash collected from the ocean, such as from the thousands of plastic bags, and even from pages from old library books. Settings were created by a variety of artists, for example, Poramit Thantapalit made jellyfish out of plastic bags, and Etty Yaniv created breathtaking ocean waves out of thousands of recycled fragments.

Arcadia Earth also has a virtual reality component, in which visitors can look at the floating trash, from an orca eye view as the orca and fish are forced to navigate the garbage. This was a most moving experience which has us in awe and sometimes in tears as it highlights how we humans are responsible for some of the destruction of natures glory. We were inspired to do more to reverse man's negative impact and, in the spirit of Chanukah, we saw the light and we were reminded that a small group of people can have a global impact.

- Samantha S.

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