The state of the Thames will be put under the spotlight this week when a new art installation will reflect the river's health in real-time.
Called ‘Thames Pulse’, the installation, launched by MEC UK and the London waterways charity Thames21, will be projected on to Sea Containers building on the south bank to raise awareness about the condition of the Thames and to support Thames21 in its mission of protecting it and other London rivers.
MEC enlisted Jason Bruges Studio to create a dynamic artwork for the building that represents the water quality. Data from the Thames will be read daily to monitor the condition of the river in central London and this will inform visualisations displayed on an array of lights on the river-facing side of the Sea Containers.
The artwork will display one of three patterns based on whether the water quality is good, average or poor compared to the previous day’s data reading. Water quality updates will be posted on a regular Twitter Feed @ThamesPulse along with calls to action to join the Thames21 volunteering projects.
The goal is also to help people understand how they can help improve the Thames’ health in their daily lives, everything from not pouring detergents and other pollutants into rainwater drains in the road, to disposing of plastic water bottles and other packaging responsibly.
Verra Budimlija, chief strategy officer, MEC UK, said: “The Thames is the lifeblood of our city, but often we don’t celebrate it. We want to help Londoners understand more about their wonderful river’s health and take action. By taking the complex data that exists in the river and transforming into a beautiful artistic visualisation, we can help Londoners reconnect with The Thames and be excited by it.”
The charity is also launching the Thames Pulse Manifesto, which will be issued across social media as well as a PR campaign to help Londoners understand what they can do to help the river. A media campaign will also roll out to raise awareness of the project.
The lights will be turned on at 6:30pm on Thursday 16 March.