One of my favourite art works is Olafur Eliasson's Green River Project (1998-2001). Olafur Eliasson and his assistants dyed waterways in Bremen, Stockholm, Los Angeles and Tokyo and rivers in other cities green with uranine, a non-toxic water-soluble dye.
Olafur Eliasson's projects are known for drawing attention to individuals' perceptions of environments. With the unannounced "Green Rivers" his artistic strategy was to draw attention to surroundings that have become so familiar that we do not notice them anymore. (cp. Stella Paul: Chromaphilia, Phaidon, 2017)
My reading of the "Green Rivers" is a bit different: Rivers are flowing entities. Rivers, no matter how strictly we try to urbanise or restrict their riverbeds, want to flow. A river has a mission. A river has a goal. She wants to get to the ocean.The rivers in the River Project greet the surrounding buildings or the bridge they pass beneath. With concentration and focus, the river is flowing towards her goal.
Turning the river green makes us aware of the flow of its water. The green water directs our attention to the need and beauty of flowing. We see the beauty of not turning around to check what else there might be around the corner. (Oh well I think I'll go back, Oh well I think I'll want to go another way...) The green water makes perceptible the unquestioned and unstoppable flow. The moving water shows us how beautiful it is to follow the decisions we make and not letting ourselves get distracted.
Being an artist or a writer, or a creator of whatever else, these moments of uninterrupted flow of reading, writing, or whatever production you favour, are very important. The performance itself is not so important (e.g. the color of the water). The outcome is also not that important (getting to the ocean on time). What matters is to be in the moment of flow, to do your thing, to concentrate on what is happening in the now, looking ahead towards your goals.
Art and Education