New York (April 6, 2018) – A group of teens led by inaugural New York Aquarium artist-in-residence Christy Gast has produced a video that provides a cautionary tale of a future dominated by an artificially produced and frequently discarded material—plastic.

The short film titled “2 Lost Soles” is a faux trailer about a film to premiere in 2050, when scientists predict the world will be so dominated by plastics that the oceans will contain more synthetics than fish.

Known as The Wildlife Conservation Corps (WCC), the teenage filmmakers participated in a field-based training program for students planning to pursue careers in natural resources fields.  The education and advocacy group worked with Gast and a larger group of collaborators as part of the Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium artist-in-residency program to write, animate, direct, narrate and score “2 Lost Soles.” The WCC and video is part of a larger effort by the aquarium to raise awareness about the threat posed by single use plastics and to promote alternative products.

The video was selected for inclusion in the “NYC Trash! Past, Present, & Future” exhibition at the City Reliquary Museum.  According to the Museum, the exhibition “presents the stories behind New York City’s solid waste, from ‘one man’s garbage is another man’s gold’ to the inventive ways New Yorkers are reusing and recycling.” The WCC video will be featured in the opening of part two of the exhibition on April 7, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. where it will screen on a continuous loop.

The video combines still animation and real-time video to tell the love story of two lost “soles” as they leave the feet of unknown humans from the past. As they float through the ocean for a thousand years, they are subsumed by a lifeless galaxy of plastic trash produced by a past culture of consumption.  In this cinematic version of the future, there is no life in the sea, only floating garbage. Viewers of the video will be encouraged to avoid the nightmare scenario of oceans of plastic by thinking ahead and acting now.

“These young film makers seek to challenge museum goers to think about their own plastic usage and to participate in current initiatives to limit the usage of plastic through personal choices,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, WCS Vice President and Director of the New York Aquarium.

Christy Gast, a New York based artist whose work across media reflects her interest in issues of economics and the environment, had previously worked with a team of WCS scientists in Tierra del Fuego where, among other actions, she spearheaded a marine plastic debris survey.

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which protects wildlife and wild places around the globe, recently announced its “Give a Sip” campaign that takes aim at a ubiquitous product contributing to the destruction of the world’s oceans and directly harming marine wildlife: the single-use plastic straw. “Give a Sip” asks New York City consumers along with restaurants and businesses to take a pledge to stop using single-use plastic straws.

The City Reliquary Museum is a not-for-profit community museum and civic organization located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Through permanent display of New York City artifacts, rotating exhibits of community collections, and annual cultural events, The City Reliquary connects visitors to both the past and present of New York. The museum is located at 370 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. For more information, click here.