waste.art

July 22nd, 2005

Guardian Unlimited — Gushing Faucet Could Land Artist in Court

Associated Press Writer

LONDON (AP) – Mark McGowan went into the tiny backroom kitchen of a south London gallery three weeks ago and flipped on the cold water. He didn’t turn it off, and doesn’t plan to for an entire year.

“The Running Tap,” as it’s called, is McGowan’s effort to protest against wasted water in London by blatantly letting it go down the drain.

“When you’ve got the tap on at home, you don’t think about it. That’s why this is art, because it makes people consider it,” the environmentalist said.

The gushing faucet is an expensive exhibition that could waste about 3.9 million gallons of water. It could also land McGowan in a legal battle with Thames Water, the utility company. The circular sink has already swallowed about 193,000 gallons of water during a season declared the driest in London since 1976.

The project has outraged Thames Water, which said it could cost about $23,320 if the faucet runs for 365 days. The water company pleaded with McGowan to close the tap, but in vain.

“I think he certainly made a point,” said Thames Water Spokeswoman Hilary Bennett. “We understand where he’s coming from and we’re sympathetic to that. However, he should turn it off now.”

After two angry Londoners shut the tap off, McGowan turned it back on.

“If you’re going to waste some water, you might as well waste it for a year,” McGowan said. “It’s always good to complete projects.”
[….]

Update 08.02.2005:He’s gonna shut it off.

Some more of McGowan’s work.

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