It mocks the failed attempts and numerous delays by governments and companies to combat climate change despite consistent criticism from news outlets and protests from environmental activists.
Time to Waste features the Statue of Liberty wearing a chemical suit making a last ditch attempt to decontaminate the North American continent. The statue is surrounded by multiple scenes depicting different disasters that happened throughout American history.
On the statues right you see the BP oil rig disaster that took place in the Gulf of Mexico, the largest oil spillage ever recorded. Close to the rig you see a few miniature buildings depicting the city of New Orleans, flooded in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. Right in front of the statue we see the Three Mile Island Nuclear power plant of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania where, in 1979, a radiation leak occurred. It was the most significant accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history.
On the left front side of the statue, we see the Love Canal industrial area. The story of the Love Canal has become an iconic tale of the people vs. corporate interests. A huge burial of toxic waste caused massive problems in people’s health. In 1995, the EPA sued Occidental Petroleum and forced the company to pay $129 million to help pay for cleanup of the site.
The landscape surrounding these sites is created with dark colors, emphasizing the destructive impact these events had on the environment.
Behind the statue we see a large impact crater. This is the Nevada Nuclear test site, a place where the American government tested numerous nuclear devices. Moreover, parts of Nevada, Arizona and Utah had radioactive fallout sprinkled upon its residents for years during the atmospheric tests.
Directly behind the statue we see multiple partially dismantled oil wells. In southern California about 35,000 oil wells have been abandoned by the companies that produced them because they have sucked the oil dry or simply abandoned them because the price of oil in recent times has made their operation unprofitable. The removal of all wells would be around 6 billion USD and will most likely be paid by the US taxpayers in the future.
Next to the wells we see an abandoned farm. Farmers, some of whom knowing little or nothing about the ecology of the Plains, used tractors to till deeply into the prairie grass, exposing the moist earth to wind and sun, a farming technique which led to the Mid-West Dust Bowl.
We wanted to tell a big part of the environmental history of the United States in a single art piece. Combining a message and adding historical information to the piece to let the viewer think for himself how we are handling one of the most complex issues in politics and cooperate management.
This art piece is one of the latest releases of work by Mitsi. Many different digital techniques have been used to create the look and feel of the work.