Interconnecting Water

Issue 44 September 2018

The origin of water

John Finney is Emeritus Professor of Physics at University College, London. He is the author of ‘Water: A Very Short Introduction’, published by Oxford University Press. The book provides an introduction to the science of water, ice, snow, and steam, and how the structure of water molecules gives rise to its physical and chemical properties.

Reading the River

“The idea of interconnectedness has been one of the central themes of my water work for over forty years. Water issues are vast and present intricately complex problems. I think that the solutions and suggestions for actions lie in a diversity of approaches. It will take all of us working together cooperatively to come to the assistance of bodies of water around the globe. In this radically interconnected world it behooves each of us to compassionately take care of each other and our environment, because we are one and the same.”

In her pioneering inter-disciplinary practice, Basia Irland focusses on rivers and watersheds, water scarcity, climate change, ecological restoration and waterborne diseases. Her poetic, socially-engaged work endeavours to reconnect people with their local waterways in order to foster care, appreciation and responsibility.

Perspectives on altering our perceptions of water

“The challenges we face with water are largely a consequence of how we perceive it in postmodern industrialized societies. Despite the myriad ways that water connects us to the world, our management and engineering of it seldom reflects that realization. Whereas expanding our perceptions of water may appear to be a relatively simple task, there are biological and behavioral factors that complicate our capacity and inclination to do so. Given the complex processes and systems that govern water in nature, our mimicking its patterns could supplement our comprehending or predicting them. ”

D.L. Marrin (nickname West) is an applied scientist specializing in biogeochemistry, water resources and aquatic ecology.

Interconnecting Water

Susan Derges has established an international reputation through her practice involving cameraless, lens-based, digital and reinvented photographic processes, encompassing subject matter informed by the physical and biological sciences as well as landscape and abstraction. Her art comprises an ongoing enquiry into the relationship of the self to the observed.

Modified Perceptual Conditions and the Sublime

“A river is elusive: ever shifting, always moving, and in a constant state of flux. Is a river the water it contains or the channel through which it flows; or is it essentially a self-replicating memory? My work centers on the many facets of water: as a subject, a material, and an experience. I am looking for the ephemeral, sublime, and perceptually mysterious.”

David Teeple is a multidisciplinary artist using glass, water, and light to create formally simple yet perceptually complex works.

Bodies of Water

“We are all bodies of water! What we do to water, we do to every body, including ourselves.”

Astrida Neimanis writes mostly about bodies, water and weather, in an intersectional feminist mode. Her most recent monograph is Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology. She is currently Senior Lecturer in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies and Key Researcher at the Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney, on Gadigal land, in Australia.

What’s the point of cities?

“If we each have responsibility for our own safety, we also have responsibility for our own adventure. Each time we swim in a city river, we re-imagine our city from the inside. Our skin is a permeable boundary, letting in the water and the city, feeling the soft impact of the seasons and the water.”

Amy Sharrocks is a live artist, sculptor and film-maker who invites people to come on journeys in which their own experience, communication and expression are a vital part. She has making work about people and water for 10 years.

Floating on inner seas

“My art is literally created by water, and imbued with its dynamics of movement, fluidity and flow, through my “floating colors” art-making process.”

Laura Ferguson has made her own body the subject of her art, finding beauty in a curving spine and exploring the connections between pain, consciousness, and creativity. “Floating on inner seas” will be part of a book-in-progress about her own art and the process of making it, The Consciousness of the Body.

How the water moves

“Water takes a central place in my view of the world. It is the container of life and the connective element in the landscape.”

Siobhan McDonald is a visual artist working in the medium of paint, film and sound. She is interested in the changeable nature of landmass, historical events and their interconnection to time. Many of her works seek to merge the poetic and the scientific to delve into a field that’s unknown to her.

Water, water, everywhere in our Solar system but what does that mean for life?

“In the past we tended to imagine that water was a scarce and precious resource. But as we learn more about our place in the Universe, we are becoming ever more aware that water is everywhere.”

Professor Jonti Horner, an astronomer and astrobiologist who currently works in the Computational Engineering and Science Research Centre at the University of Southern Queensland, in Toowoomba, Australia.