Liquid City was an urban waterways research based project rooted in storytelling, cross-disciplinary conversations, multi-media and creative commons licensed data sharing, collaboration and dreams of a riverboat.
Research & Mapping
I began with mapping the systems and their influences on one another - both relational and geographic. In addition, I cataloged the water-related activities in and around NYC waterways and began the process of interviewing people working on understanding and shaping the future of the waterways.
Link to system map
Interactions & Interventions
As a part of the research I produced several creative interactions and interventions.
Liquid City: Currents
Liquid City: Desire @ Works on Water
Liquid City: Flow with Clarinda Mac Low @ Works on Water
As part of the Sinking Cities exhibition at SUNY Purchase Gallery (curated by Tal Berry), I hosted a workshop of painting clay boats to fill with cattails to float down the local waterway. The clay, once on the bottom of the river bed would attract and sequester heavy metals. The cattail seeds would disperse and take root along the banks, acting as a native biological water cleaner and habitat for ecosystem revival.
An interactive investigation of the environment around us, past, present, future. Desire invited participants to explore Lower Manhattan through a map depicting previous shorelines and future water rise levels. While doing so, they could carry a bottle of blue liquid to trace their path through the city. A reinvestigation of my 2007 project Paths of Desire.
With Clarinda Mac Low, a large scale painting of the waterways around NYC. This floor painting was an immersive orienting tool for the gallery space showcasing water-based art works. In addition, we created a video to project on the floor, I created the past shorelines and Clarinda created imagined futures.
Interviews & Stories
I conducted a series of interviews with people shaping the relationship between NYC and it's waterways. These were powerful videos of creative and innovative thinkers and doers. They included:
Willis Elkins, Executive Director of Newtown Creek Alliance and co-chair of Newtown Creek Superfund Community Advisory Group
Dylan Gauthier, research-based artist exploring intersections of ecology, architecture, landscape and environmental justice
Tricia Martin, landscape architect and co-founder of WeDesign, working on the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway
Mary Mattingly, Brooklyn-based artist exploring issues of sustainability, climate and displacement
David Sharps, founder and Director of Waterfront Barge Museum
Shino Tanakawa, Executive Director of New York City Soil & Water Conservation District
Edgar Westerhoff, North American Solution Leader for Climate Adaptation, Vice President at Arcadis