Artist Garth Britzman created a temporary car parking canopy using 1,581 recycled plastic bottles collected through the campus recycling program at the University of Nebraska. The project was initiated with the aim of stimulating creative alternatives for recycling and reusing materials.
Britzman created the initial concept using 3D modelling and scripting software to generate the desired surface created by the bottom of the soda bottles. The dataset created during the process not in only helped in providing the location of the string, but also provided exact specification of the colour of liquid in each bottle that would hang from each string. Each bottle is filled with a small amount of coloured water. The specific colour of the water is based on the elevation of the bottle relative to the ground plane.
With the help of more than 20 volunteers, Britzman spent the next 3 weeks to prepare each individual string to hang each bottle. Each bottle is hung from a grid by a unique string length ranging from 6″ to 30″. A wooden structure was created using 2 x 6 timber for the top frame measuring 8′ by 12′ by 8′ high. The columns were made by 4″x4″ wood assembled with wood screws.
Screws were added to the top of this wooden structure along the entire length of the wood. Later on, each cap was drilled with a hole to attach the string and finally with all 1,581 strings cut and labelled according to the coordinate system, the strings were tied and glued to the grid to provide additional strength to the knot.
Last but not the least, the bottles with specific liquid colour were attached to each string with a corresponding label. Each bottle was filled with as little liquid as possible so as to minimize weight and to give the appearance of a flower pedal at the bottom of the bottle.
The installation was showcased at several locations around Nebraska.