In 1977, Pink Floyd envisaged a tyrannical society governed by a cast of devious swine for their Orwell-influenced concept album Animals. In 2017, however, architect Jeffrey Roberts of New World Design, is conspiring to deploy a quartet of Floyd-inspired flying pigs as a tool for dissent.
First conceptualized in November of last year, Roberts introduced the “Flying Pigs on Parade” project as an effort on behalf of his firm to “provide visual relief to the citizens of Chicago by interrupting the view of the ostentatious Trump Tower Chicago sign.” Consisting of four 30-by-15-foot gold-colored pig balloons, the inflatable hogs will eclipse the gargantuan T-R-U-M-P emblazoned on the city’s Trump International Hotel and Tower for an entire day this summer.
The concept is particularly modeled off the swarms of flying pig balloons that became a concert staple for Pink Floyd performances following the release of Animals. Conceptualized by Roger Waters and Australian artist Jeffrey Shaw, the pair initially enlisted the design team Hipgnosis in 1976 to devise an oversized inflatable pig that would be flown over the Britain’s iconic Battersea Power Station as Animals’ cover photo. The photo session invited notoriety when the forty-foot beast became unmoored from its anchorage, thereby thwarting their cover art conception for the album and causing a crisis at the nearby Heathrow Airport. Hipgnosis artist Aubrey Powell was arrested following the shoot. The pig that graces Animals was doctored into the image.
Roger Waters, who holds the rights to the “Battersea Power Station pig” image and approved Roberts’ proposal, has been a fiercely outspoken critic of the tycoon-cum-president. In September of last year, before Trump had even won the White House, the bassist provoked controversy for an explicitly politically charged performance held in Mexico City. During the band’s rendition of the Animals track “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” against a backdrop screen depicting President Trump in the company Nazi and KKK imagery.
You can watch the Mexico City performance below:
— Prefixmag (@prefixmag) May 15, 2017
Update: Despite receiving Waters’ blessing, installing barges to anchor the balloons could prove an expensive hurdle, according to DNAinfo. Roberts has since launched a crowdfunding campaign with a mighty goal of reaching $250,000. In the event that the pig plan dies, the architect says he intends to donate the contributions to ‘non-profits including Planned Parenthood, the National Resource Defense Council, International Refugee Assistance Program, MALDEF, ProPublica, the ACLU, The Trevor Project and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.’