Time and Tide Bell


I like public art that does something. I like thinking about architectural works as art and about the potential for viewing city layouts as art and so, I like art that exists as something more than art.

Marcus Vergette‘s Time and Tide Bell is an early-warning system of sorts for the rising tide that will inevitably be the outcome of climate change. The work involves a newly invented bell form, which allows multiple tones to be struck in one structure, so as the tide rises, the bell’s clapper is moved to strike the bell. As the tide rises, the bell will ring more often, but will also become further submerged.

Watching the video above is kind of strange—it shows the first strike of the bell in the water. As people clap and as the bell rings again, it’s strange to think that there is art like this to be made. This bell appears to be the first of other bells that can be installed in other communities, and in some capacity, created with consultation with that community about the inscription on and tone of the bell.

Of course, I’ve now begun to wonder what a public work that would demarcate something very distinct to now, or very distinct to the place we’re heading that could be installed in Windsor. If there was something you could leave for someone to see well into a post-apocalyptic future, what would it be? I think I’d want to say, “I’m sorry.”