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Project: The Floating World

The Floating World is an immersive, kinetic installation about climate change. It takes the form of a 40-foot iceberg, constantly inflating and deflating, giving the impression that the installation is in a constant state of melting. This will be achieved by an animatronic polar bear sporting an air conditioner on his back and pedaling an exercise bike that drives the pumps. Like much of Kessler’s work, this installation will entertain, exploit and critique at the same time. Viewers are free to explore the tunnels and caves of the iceberg, where they will discover mechanical video sculptures that send live feeds back to flat screen monitors built into the iceberg. Projections of flight attendants beckon the viewer, inviting them to log on to a “hot spot” and to join the Mile High Club. A chilling installation about an increasingly hot topic, The Floating World uses fear and folly to provoke a dialogue about our collective course as a planet.

Awardee: Jon Kessler

Visual Arts, 2015

A chance reconnection with a friend from summer camp in 1983 precipitated the start of Jon Kessler’s artistic career with a show at Artists Space. An exhibition at White Columns followed soon after, where his work was seen by Kynaston McShine and subsequently included in the 1985 exhibition A Recent Survey of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art. Since then, Kessler’s work has been exhibited at Luhring Augustine in New York, the 1985 Whitney Biennial, Deitch Projects, Salon 94, and a number of European and Japanese museums and galleries. His first immersive video installation, The Palace at 4 AM, was shown at PS1.