This is how people reacted when a guy wrote 'Trump' on a New York sidewalk in dry ice.

Visitors to the Northwest corner of New York's Union Square park on June 8 were treated to an unexpectedly stark sight for a June afternoon: the name of the president spelled out in dry ice, slowly melting away.

Photos by Eric March/Upworthy.

The installation, titled "This Too Shall Pass," is the work of Georgian-American artist David Datuna, who came up with the idea for the art performance after President Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement.


"What I do in my art, it’s for the future, for the new generation," he says.

A previous installation, "SOS/ONE," a mobile collage that Datuna took on the road last fall, spoke to the sense of alarm — and hope for healing — in a divided country on the eve of a contentious election.

With Trump's ascendance to the presidency, and hostility to climate science, Datuna believes the "SOS" scenario has come to pass.

"I think it’s disgusting what he did," Datuna says of Trump's decision to leave the Paris agreement.

The dry ice piece, he hopes, leaves its viewers with the conviction that while destruction to the climate may be real and lasting, Trump himself, and his environmental policies, are temporary.

"Sooner or later, it’s going to end," he says.

A few dozen onlookers gathered to take photos — and consider what the piece might mean — as the dry ice melted.

GIFs by Eric March/Upworthy.

And melted.

And melted.

Reactions from those who stopped were swift — and often visceral.

"Ugh, Trump," exclaimed a middle-school-aged child, walking by with a group of friends.

A park employee on shift briefly stepped up to the installation, only to turn away repulsed, shaking her head.

Some saw a rebuke to the president in the ice.

Steve Schuit, who noticed the installation on a walk through the park with his family, saw the instillation as an ominous omen for the president, especially in the wake of former FBI director James Comey's testimony before Congress.

"I think Trump is in the process of melting down," he said.

While others stopped to admire the craft of the piece — and how it reflects their concerns about the environment.

"It just stood out. It’s just very original," says Karen Bass, a teacher in the park on an unexpected afternoon off.

Bass, who plans to attend a climate rally near her home in Forest Hills, Queens, on Saturday, recently attended a professional development workshop where she was shocked by a series of charts forecasting potential temperature rise over the next several decades.

"It’s scary what could happen with the sea levels rising. It’s very scary," she explains.

Datuna was joined in the park by his 11-year-old son David Jr., who took the day off from school to help set up and explain the project.

David Datuna and son David Jr.‌

"The oceans are rising. The islands are disappearing. And it might cover up New York or it might cover up the Netherlands or other countries," he explains.

Like many ambitious children his age, he wants to be president one day. Unlike most of his peers, he knows exactly why.

"[The country] is divided into two," he says. "I want to make it into one."

True

Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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