We've all seen the movies of natural disasters when the Earth is suddenly flooded by melting glaciers and rising sea levels, right? ​American artist/writer/artistic director of Early Morning Opera, Lars Jan, makes this visualization a reality by way of a thought-provoking performance installation. The exhibit shows a variety of everyday activities, including reading a newspaper, using a water hose, and falling asleep, all being performed while submerged in water. The art installation, named HOLOSCENES and located in Toronto, is a aquarium viewable from 360 degrees while performers take one-hour shifts in the water tank. The aquarium then floods with about 12 tons of water using a specialized hydraulic system and as the water rises, the performer swims to the top to take a breath, then dives back down to adapt their behavior to the new aquatic environment. An underwater hydrophone lets the audience hear sounds of movement and churning water while the performance goes along. 

In a press release, Lars Jan shares his inspiration for the installation.

"By 2010, I felt increasingly aware of a string of devastating floods, and images of people around the world struggling through deep, turbulent water were haunting my thoughts. One in particular, captured by photo journalist Daniel Berehulak during the flooding in Pakistan, was so simultaneously beautiful and horrific that I began thinking a lot about beauty as a delivery mechanism for despair, and as a route to empathy. "

Jan, from Cambridge, MA, is an artist, writer, and the artistic director of Early Morning Opera, which is a performance and art lab, whose works explore emerging technologies and live audiences. To keep up with his work and other projects, check out his website or follow him on Twitter

[via My Modern Met]