Does a River Exist?

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?

aerial photograph, estuary, cairnes, australia

the green delta, bangladesh

A recent sculpture, “Green Delta”, is a topographically accurate depiction of a three dimensional section of the Ganges River Basin, in Bangladesh, emphasizing its organic form as a holon. It is the idea of a holon that gives form and context to the perception of water as both a material and an action: as a singular geographic place, and simultaneously part of a vast and interconnected system that covers nearly all of the planet, including the atmosphere. The hydrologic cycle not only breeds life, but also cleans and distributes water across the globe. In its own reflection, it acts as a readily visible and constant reminder, through weather systems and bodies of water, of just how dynamic and organic this system is.

the green delta, bangladesh

dendriform a systems model

dendriform: a systems model

water music, northampton, ma

 

water music, northampton, ma

 

water music, northampton, ma

 

photo by stephen petegorsky

My research and art making has formally centered around water, as a model for a complex system of relationships, and as a formal device, to explore ideas of perception, science and technology, light, transparency, duration, frequency, containment, memory, fluidity, and the human condition, how we form our stories and how our actions affect the ever-taxed bio-system. I am building a ‘liquid map’ to mark my own process and evolution specifically, and to articulate systems thinking in general. Each sculpture, drawing, photograph, video and installation, acts not only as a mnemonic device, but also as an individual component of a larger structure and study, as I assemble a body of work that covers an increasing range of contexts.

canal redirect, holyoke, ma

canal redirect in hail storm, holyoke, ma

canal redirect, holyoke, ma

cult of knowledge, hampden gallery, umass, amherst

cult of knowledge, hampden gallery, umass, amherst

cult of knowledge, hampden gallery, umass, amherst

The site relative installation “In Reflection” utilized Descartes Law of Refraction combined with a layering of reflections, to generate an environment that challenged the relationship between perception and interpretation and how we interact with architectural space. The public installation “Water Music” acts as a memory and a symbol to remind the surrounding communities of their connection to the Connecticut River. An ongoing series of laser-cut sculptures and drawings, juxtaposes the 2009 location and shape of the Mississippi River, with its 1817 location and shape. In another series of site-relative installations, I place glass cuboid tanks on under-water structures in a body of water. It appears that the tanks are floating on the surface of the water and interact with the surrounding environment in subtle ways.  A series of text-based works explores and questions the realm of global water politics within the context of phenomenology, mythology and the complexity of the range of human emotions. I created a video installation of the post hurricane Irene impact on a river, and its powerful battle with a dam, and reflected it in a shallow pool of water.

connecticut river site work

mithraeum double tank, rome, italy