Polar Bear Life Vest Prototypes
1 Adult and 2 Cub Vests
Nylon, Upholstery Foam, Screen Print
Polar bears are strong swimmers who make a journey from land to arctic sea ice every year. With increasing northern temperatures arctic sea ice has been forming further and further from shore. As a result some bears can no longer make the journey to the offshore ice from which they feed after the long summer fasting on land. With reports of drowning bears these life vests are simultaneously sad and humorous in a dire situation. We use life vests to mitigate drowning in human populations, but there is no such solutions for polar bears. Their predicament is dire. The life vests insert humour in a dark situation and provide a means of engaging with a difficult conversation. Each vest contains information that links the bears, the changing arctic environment and human activities together, highlighting the messiness of our entangled lives.
Some of the information that appears printed on the life vests:
FLOTATION AID - URSUS MARITIMUS PFD
INTENDED USE: MAINLAND TO ARCITC SEA ICE
WARNING: FITTED FOR USE BY CERTIFIED PERSONNEL ONLY.
- DEVICE IS NOT AN ALTERNATIVE TO ARCTIC SEA ICE
- THIS DEVICE IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE RESPONSIBLE PREVENTATIVE ACTION ON THE PART OF HUMAN BEINGS
- FIT FOR USE WHEN SWIMMING GREATER THEN 150 KM (93 MILES) TO OFFSHORE ICE
REMEMBER: No buoyant device of any kind has ever been a sure guarantee against drowning or extinction. PDF's provide BUOYANCY to support or 'float' the wearer but vigilance and common sense PLUS direct human response to the current climate crisis are the SUREST protection for those species facing extinction.