A large sculpture, conceptualized by artist Mel Chin and fabricated at the UNC Asheville STEAM lab by a group of students, professors and volunteers, is being installed on Times Square in New York City this week. The 21-foot tall figure of wood and fiberglass will move by way of interior mechanical and electrical systems and stands in front of giant metal pieces designed to look like the bones of an old ship. Chin calls the piece “Wake,” and it goes along with an augmented reality application that will allow users of a smart phone or tablet to see the New York City skyline submerged in ocean water from sea level rise. That piece is called “Unmoored,” and it’s all designed to call attention to the effects of climate change.
A major project like this must have been costly. Can you give us some idea of the budget and how it was funded?