An art + science project that uses a floating and land art installation to visualize the latest scientific flooding projections and the projected municipal adaptation strategy, and conducts social science research to understand its impact in the Boston, MA community

Fort Point Channel, Boston, MA. United States | 15 October 2020 – 30 September 2021

FutureSHORELINE calls attention to the imminent changing nature of Boston’s shorefront due to sea level rise. The connection between rising waters and rising land to protect the city is made through a new temporary public art installation for the Fort Point Channel that visualizes the rising waters of the channel and the proposed rising of the shoreline to adapt to the new normal of higher water levels. As such, the installation is a site-specific visualization of both the expected flood levels, and a partial full-scale representation of the proposed berms suggested as one of the potential solutions to mitigate flooding (as presented in the City of Boston’s Climate Ready South Boston report).

FutureSHORELINE consists of two main parts: a “rising water” component and a “rising land” component. The “water” component is a floating sculpture representing the rising waters (10 ft. for the 1% chance storm with 40” of sea level rise), while the “land” component is a lightweight structure representing the proposed 6 ft. tall berm designed to protect the neighborhood from flooding due to sea level rise. The floating component is a tiered cylinder showing the different projected flood elevations for 2030, 2050 and 2070. The sculpture fluctuates with the daily tide moving very close to the eastern edge of the channel.

The “rising land” sculpture is sited along the grassy area between the water’s edge and the Harborwalk path. The sculpture allows the public to walk in between and experience being “within” the berm and in front of the rising waters. The top of the berm sculpture and the floating sculpture are at similar levels during the daily high tide. Both sculptures are tiered and filled with different colored reflecting aluminum fins (evocative of water) to represent the different flood levels for each corresponding set of years. This configuration allows the general public to see and measure against their bodies the projected flood elevations.

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