Video: Art Installation Makes Climate Change a Visceral Experience"Holoscenes" uses a human aquarium to reveal the trauma of flooding and adaptation to catastrophe

GARDEN HOSE and GUITAR from “Holoscenes,” photos by Lars Jan.

In Holoscenes, arts visionary and TED Senior Fellow Las Jan aims to take the issues of climate change out of the mental realm and as he puts it, “…make people feel climate change in their gut.”

To do so, Jan uses a human aquarium in an epic performance-installation that make clear to the observer that flooding is an all encompassing experience that demands immediate adaptation by those whose lives it touches. Performers are situated inside the elevator-sized tank engaging in everyday activities such as selling fruit, getting dressed or reading a paper. Viewable from 360 degrees, the tank abruptly fills and drains with water, forcing the individual inside to quickly adapt to the changing situation as he or she attempts to continue performing an activity.

The result is an eerily beautiful and compelling struggle that casts a hypnotic spell on viewers. The work epitomizes one of the essential literary conflicts — “man vs. environment.” The performers are often in over their heads, their objects floating serenely, if haphazardly, in the water around them as they try to control the situation and continue with their lives. The frightening and chaotic results of rising and falling water levels are played against the peaceful weightlessness of objects in a juxtaposition that is completely engrossing.

Presented by MDC Live Arts, Holoscenes, is next on view Saturday, December 5th from 2 pm – 8 p.m. at Kryakides Plaza at Wolfson Campus, 300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami FL 33132.

Holoscenes launches the ​Live Arts In Focus ​series, which offers powerful programs tackling today’s pressing topics. Learn more about the 2015-16 MDC Live Arts Season at