Inflatable Icebergs: Sublimated Guilt Has Never Been So Fun

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Is it really possible to trademark a natural phenomenon? Well, water-toy firm Aviva seem to have done it anyway. Here’s some of their blurb: “Since the Iceberg™ was introduced, it has proven to be the most exciting and innovative commercial water activity to come along in years. Three sides, each of different difficulty, can be climbed. The fourth side is for sliding or bouncing into the water. However one doesn’t have to slide down to enjoy it; just sitting on top and looking around is an incredible experience! The Iceberg™ is made from heavy duty commercial quality inflatable fabric. It is manufactured to last in a commercial environment.”

Those of you who have read my annual posts about Christmas decorations will be familiar with the idea that we are preparing for a world of climate change by designing simulations of climate: from artificial spray on snow-in-a-can suggesting a Dickensian frosting on windows, to the snow machines that boost natural snow challenged pistes.

This inflatable Iceberg™ is another example. While the Artic ice shelf collapses perhaps by designing, marketing, and playing with these inflatable iceburgs is a way of dealing with loss – a sad desire to re-make the world as we found it rather than what it has become. On the other hand, this could be irony heavy, Futurist-esque celebration of the increasingly artificial landscape we inhabit – a fun way to be part of the problem.

The Iceberg™ recalls work by artists Walker & Bromwich, whose projects include inflatable landscapes which “search for artistic ‘solutions’ that simultaneously offer viewers/participants an aesthetic experience and a practical tool to improve life. Panacea strikes a fine balance between naive optimism and an ironic critique on society’s increasingly untenable expectations of artists as: maker of beautiful objects, social reformers, economic revitalisers and catalysts for all things good.”

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Panacea Hot tub

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Friendly Frontier No. 1, a large inflatable mountain range complete with emergency slide, offering a simple, child-like solution to the complicated problem of international border control.

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Limboland

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