If you’re near New York City tomorrow night, Friday, January 15th, Exit Art is hosting an event in honor of the Waterpod project, exploring the twin ideas of interactive architecture and “reinventing social spaces.”
The Waterpod, if you are not familiar with it already, “was a floating, sculptural structure designed as a futuristic habitat and an experimental platform for assessing the design and efficacy of living systems fashioned to create an autonomous, fully functional marine shelter.” It traveled around the waterways of New York, bringing equal parts aquatic farm, mobile bio-utopia, and urban sci-fi to the hydroscape of the city.
As a self-sufficient, navigable living space, the Waterpod showcased the critical importance of water within the natural world. Collectively embracing the richly-patterned folkways of the five boroughs of metropolitan New York, the Waterpod reified positive interactions between communities: private and public; artistic and societal; scientific and agricultural; aquatic and terrestrial.
The New York Times described it as “an independent project [artist Mary] Mattingly dreamed up three years ago to explore the possibility of creating a self-sufficient community on the water—a kind of aquatic version of the Biosphere 2 complex built in the Arizona desert in the 1980s—that might offer an alternative to living on land in the future, if ‘our resources on land grow scarcer and sea levels rise,’ she said.”
Tomorrow night will feature three short presentations by Natalie Jeremijenko, “an artist whose background includes studies in biochemistry, physics, neuroscience and precision engineering”; architect Maria Aiolova, cofounder with Mitchell Joachim of Terreform 1; and myself, followed by a panel discussion and public Q&A. For my own part, I plan on discussing a number of hydrological topics, including the vernacular design of artificial glaciers and other kinds of “ice reserves” as a response to global water shortages, and, given time, to present a brief look at the history of weather control and urban storm cultivation.
Entrance is free, although there is a suggested donation of $5, and there is a cash bar to ease the mood of a Friday evening; things kick off at 7pm, and you will find us all gathered at 475 10th Avenue, near 37th Street. Here is a map and more info about the night in general.
Hope to see you there!