This comment bubbled up in discussion with Dr. Owain Jones at his PLaCE seminar talk last month (the final instalment of the long-running PLaCE Research speaker sessions). Over the coming weeks and months, I'm aiming to write a detailed blog-post on what could be termed the 'geopoetics' of each of the materials woven in to my intermedia installation for the recent Tramontana Festival 2013. Water is the topic of the first of these.
Water, and water matters, pervade and infuse most of my landscape-based projects, and this 'element' looms large throughout my background of transdisciplinary activity, bridging across science, design and art. In the late 1980s I was to be found carrying out greenhouse experiments with duckweed (Lemna spp.), testing the potential to bio-cleanse industrial effluents. As the wheels of time tend to bring one back again, I have once more found myself in a close encounter with this unpretentious plant - in the context of a symbolic material incorporated in an intermedia art installation (more on this in a future post). For many years I have been involved in research, development and promotion of what were - in the '80s - the relatively novel eco/water/design-technologies of 'reed bed sewage treatment' and 'sustainable drainage systems' (SuDS). These involvements continue today, but are increasingly located in creative/visioning modes, rather than in the applied technical realms. Water often surfaces in unexpected ways.
One new and unpredictable scenario for me is an involvement with a research project that sets out to explore (in the context of 'more-than-human participatory research') some aspects of being 'in conversation with water' and 'designing with water'. For this project, my role is to be a lynchpin of sorts, and to lead a field-trip to the River Torridge, in Devon - site of my 2012 collaborative residency project, Shadows and Undercurrents. This novel confluence of topic and site has led me to reflect on my own long-term and deep participation with water, water-bodies and water-ways (their ecological health, their dynamics, their secrets...).
You can read the rest of Antony's post here.