Last night, the Exxon Mobil station on 2nd street and Avenue C unwittingly became the subject of a guerilla projection stunt that managed to draw nearly 100 people. Seeking to draw a connection between climate change, the oil industry, and Hurricane Sandy, the film was projected high onto the walls of the gas station using Occupy’s hotly contested Illuminator van. The renegade projectionists in question were a part of the Occupy Sandy initiative.
Shot by Josh Fox, creator of the anti-fracking documentary Gasland, the video chronicles the devastation of the Rockaways in the wake of Sandy. Along with heart-wrenching footage of destroyed housing, boardwalks and streets, the film features interviews with volunteers and local residents. One man, Bill McKibben, founder of environmental activist site 350.org, makes an pointed statement: he believes we should no longer name hurricanes after people, explaining that “it’s time to name them for the poeple who are causing them – we should go right through the alphabet finding every oil and coal and gas company ’cause its these guys’ carbon pouring into the atmosphere that are super charging these hurricanes.”
The Village Voice notes that it’s unclear whether Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s, who originally funded the Illuminator but repossessed it after a legal spat with Occupy, signed off on the van’s use last night. It wouldn’t be out of the question that he would, as Cohen is a bit of an environmentalist himself, but it’s also possible that this was an early appearance of the new Illuminator, which Occupy took to Kickstarter to fund after the initial disagreement with Cohen.