Watergevoelschool

Morgan C. Levy

Thursday 29th April, 10am-12pm

Bon Marche Studio (UTS Bldg 3, Lvl. 1, Rm 105)

Screening: 30 mins.

The watergevoelschool is a series of participatory and experimental art projects that focus on critical water and related environmental issues.

In light of climate change and its impacts, countries all over the world are increasingly engaged in information-sharing processes about ‘water control’ – concerning natural water bodies such as rivers and oceans, as well as man-made water management structures such as canals, levees, and dams. The watergevoelschool engages lay-participants in otherwise privileged water issues discussions casually and non-technically through collaborative lessons/events.

Lessons are participatory workshops and events attended by diverse international guests/participants. Lessons are documented in a variety of ways: digital video, photography, audio recordings, and text. Documentations are not traditionally documentary or educational, but instead communicate the experience of the lesson itself, and mock and/or question notions of the official and the expert within the increasingly exclusive and technical sphere of environmental and natural resource fields.

The lessons apply DIY concepts to generate playful explorations and unpretentious presentations of the truly unstructured, undefined, and unofficial experience of ‘natural resource management’. The project aims to draw a general public into critical water resource discourses that usually remain under the public radar.

watergevoelschool: flood safety

On March 13, 2010, I led a primarily Dutch and American group in the exercise of running away from a levee/dike (as though it were breaking), and jumping over irrigation canals/ditches along a major shipping canal that travels through mixed urban/agricultural land outside the port city of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Holland is known for its impressive water management infrastructure, and currently the U.S. for its lack thereof (e.g. New Orleans). This piece explores the existence of particular water-control structures we know little about and often take for granted (levees/dikes), and that are threatened by climate change in both the U.S. and Holland. “Students” were encouraged to strategize about flood safety best-practices and to participate in filming. Presented here is an interpretive ‘instructional’ film produced from the lesson (approx. 2-3 minutes).

I am a U.S. Fulbright Scholar completing independent research comparing water management and related environmental policy in Holland and California, currently working with the Technische Universiteit Delft and Wageningen University in The
Netherlands.

Information about my research: nontechnicalpublic.blogspot.com, and my art at: www.morganclevy.com. I will enter the University of California at Berkeley’s interdisciplinary graduate Energy & Resources Group this coming fall.

I’m passionate about the integrated, creative exploration of geography, natural resources – particularly water, environmentalism, and art, breaking down the boundaries between these often isolated disciplines, and questioning hierarchies of ‘knowledge’ that exist across these fields.

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