New Water Projects is an organization that has emerged from a thirty year study of water from the studio of David Teeple. A project oriented entity, our objective is to create and produce water focused strategies and programs, creating alliances between the arts, sciences, and business, and the public. We are building a community of individuals interested in being positive change-agents in relationship to our ever-taxed water landscape. 

 

Mission

A platform to study and celebrate water, enable multiple means with which to disseminate water ideas, explorations, research, and knowledge, and activate positive water stewardship in the environment, by way of the arts.

 

Potential actions

  • Raise funds to funnel to water organizations
  • Develop innovative water products
  • Create water awareness through art and education
  • A clearinghouse/database for water information: websites, organizations, institutes, sciences, events, art, exhibitions
  • A source for crowdfunding projects
  • Water stories website and mobile app
  • Water events database by topic, location, date, etc.
  • Forge relationships between scientists, artists and inventors
  • Residencies for artists to work on water projects

Current Projects

Celebrate Water Website

The Celebrate Water website will be our centerpiece. Our mission is to develop and constantly update a most interesting, user friendly, informative and visually beautiful website that engages the topic of water. It is here that people can come to not only celebrate the remarkable qualities of water, but also to learn of the many challenges and solutions to our global water crisis.

We will also focus on ways to inform people of the website through social media, our mobile water center, public relations, and community outreach projects.

 

Mobile Water Gallery

This project centers around a mobile water themed art gallery and water information center, that travels to individual towns and cities across America. In each location, a local artist will be invited to make artworks about a specific water topic, that will be exhibited in the gallery. People from the community will be invited to celebrate the artists' works, while also discovering some challenges and solutions facing our water environment.

 

A Glass of Water

Water is our most precious resource. With factors such as household pollution, industrial waste, over-fishing, ocean dead-zones, etc, our relationship to water must change. This project has been initiated from the belief that small daily actions can produce big results, and change begins in the home and community.

Deliverables: 

  • Measurably reduce the use of bottled water by offering tangible alternatives to both the public and the retailers. 
  • Coax residents to use healthy alternatives to toxic, water-polluting household and personal care products.
  • Inspire homeowners to utilize indigenous landscaping and alternatives to chemical fertilizers.

Project actions include, but are not limited to:

  • Artist designed point of purchase displays selling reusable bottles alongside filtered water stations.
  • Invite artists and citizens to make water-themed artworks for ongoing public view.
  • “Drink a Glass” –  a web-based archive of photographs of citizens drinking a glass of water.
  • “Water Stories” –  a web-based project to celebrate water.
  • Water parade and other ongoing public events.
  • An interactive website with water information and solutions.
  • Involve businesses in ongoing public relations.
  • A media PR campaign.

Scale

We are currently looking for a community to work with to implement this project. It is our intention to then scale the project up, to reach a much broader audience.

 

The Traveling Water Circus

A water education program for elementary to high school children

 

·      How can we engage students in water topics?

·      What activities and ideas inspire them?

·      Can students initiate change at home?

·      How can the success of an education program be measured?

 

Mission:

These questions will drive the educational outreach program called “The Traveling Water Circus”. The playful name has a foundation of deep inquiry into how to engage students from elementary children to high school, in inspiring environmental awareness and action thru the arts, specifically related to the topic of water.

Visual Specifics:

Inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s’ “Boite-en-valise” or “box in a suitcase” works, I will create a traveling “kit” whose contents will illustrate global water issues. Somewhere in the dimensional realm of two feet by three feet by five feet, the “kit” will be a “piece of furniture, or art object - on wheels”, whose contents are composed of a conglomeration of visual information ranging from graphics to video to sculpture to music. The kit will have hinged doors, drawers, a computer, paintings, drawings, sculptures and a video projector.

Engage:

I will enter a classroom situation and begin with an entertaining and engaging water story (storytelling is the oldest form of communication and engages by way of the sub-conscious and pre-conscious). Then, with a bit of flair and showmanship, I will begin to open the “kit” and expose exciting and informative visual components that display and communicate “water data”.  A curriculum of science based water information will emerge – in a fashion that educates, provokes and inspires.

Inspire:

The next phase is to inspire students to create art-works that respond to the information that they have just been exposed to. The act of art creation solidifies and articulates the education process and will generate a visual diary that both punctuates the “data” and stimulates the creative process. The students will be given the opportunity to draw with blue ink on paper, images that respond to the program. These images will be exhibited in the community at a later date, to inspire the students for further inquiry into water related environmental topics and engage their families in community.

Manifest/Action:

The next phase of the program inspires a set of “actions” the students can take home to make change in the home environment - simple actions that can make an impact on the overall environmental picture. These actions will be as fundamental as turning off the faucet while brushing teeth and using non-toxic cleaning products as well as understanding the hydrologic cycle and the impact of water practices on the local and global community

Data collection:

The final phase of the project is to collect “data” that illustrates the effectiveness of the program. Several weeks after “The Traveling Water Circus” engages students in the classroom, the supporting faculty will conduct a survey with the students that collects data on the success of habit change in the home as well as a retention of both information and interest in environmental issues. This information will be collected and utilized to evaluate the program and instruct change for future programs. The project research will be collected, processed, evaluated and published in both art journals as well as scientific peer-reviewed journals.

Collaboration and Transdisciplinary Research:

The fundamentals of Transdisciplinary research are essential to this program. As an artist, social activist and philosopher, I am driven by a working process that utilizes community interaction and action, and collaboration within a multi-disciplinarial context.

Completed Projects

Water Music

Northampton, Massachusetts

A topographically accurate laser cut sculpture of The Connecticut River spanning a railroad bridge over the main entrance to the city.

This sculpture was conceived to celebrate the importance of the river in the community. For some it is a sad reminder of the abundant life the river once sustained, and to others it is a positive beacon for the evolution of our society and environment. Most everyone in the Valley has a connection to the river and a personal story: from irrigation to recreation to the electricity generated by the various dams and canals. My hope is that this sculpture can become a symbol, a brand if you will, for Northampton, to hold water as one of our most precious and remarkable resources and can help to stimulate an ongoing dialogue within the community to build a solid foundation of water stewardship.

 

 

Follow the River

Northampton Biennial 2011

Juror and curator

Curator’s statement of intent:

Jeff DeRose "Flux" and Joshua Selman "Listening Point"

“ ‘Follow the River’ is about possibility. Water is a theme that has occupied artists for as long as history records, and the intention of this exhibition is to initiate a visual dialog that engages, mystifies, provokes and celebrates the many facets of this elusive and essential compound. Topics can cover, but are not limited to, its beauty, recreation, function, symbolism and mythology or the weather. How can the science of water be communicated? How is the global water crisis affecting people and what are the politics behind it? What about pollution and drinking water? How can water be healing for our bodies and communities? The undercurrent of the exhibition is one of optimism and about asking questions. How can we celebrate the life affirming properties of water while we also address the challenges at hand and what is the role of the artist to engage and inspire?”

 

Thinking Water: poetry, systems and politics

Dialogue with the Collection series

UMCA - University Museum of Contemporary Art
UMass, Amherst

Link to Thinking Water

Curator and Artist

This exhibition provided the opportunity to discuss ideas considering water in the context of systems thinking and the political, social and psychological underpinnings of our relationship to water. Ideas that are at the core of my explorations as an artist and activist. Over the course of the past twenty-five years, water has provided a context for me, with which to study many themes, and the notion of a liquid map articulates a breadth and depth of the subject, in an ever-shifting and impermanent, yet focused manner.

 

Walking Water

Lesley Farlow in Water Control and Distribution by Mary Averill

An evening length performance work

University Museum of Contemporary Art, UMass, Amherst

Produced and Directed by David Teeple

 

100's of millions of mostly women and children around the world carry water daily for their survival. This performance both celebrates water and brings to view the challenges so many people must bear.

 

Jessica Higgins performing seminal Fluxus work, Drip Music by George Brecht

Performance outline:

Players:  Mary Averill, Jing Jing Farlow, Lesley Farlow, Jessica Higgins, Erika Knerr, Joshua Selman, David Teeple                                    

Sections:

The Theater And Its Double Recitation, from Antonin Artaud

Drip Music by George Brecht

Piano composition by Joshua Selman

Walking Water by David Teeple

Alchemy/Filtration by David Teeple

Control and Distribution by Mary Averill

Video and technical production by Denis Luzuriaga and Craig Allaben

 

Description of events:

The performance begins in the glass and concrete entryway to the Museum. The audience will be invited to enter from the lower doors and stand in this area.

David, Jessica and Josh enter from the upper door and will stand side by side for a pregnant pause. Jessica and Josh will then descend the stair to Jessica’s station and stand side by side for a pregnant pause. Josh will then proceed to his station below.

David will recite from memory the passage from Antonin Artaud's The Theater And Its Double, and exit behind.

Jessica and Josh will immediately begin Drip Music.

Jessica Higgins and Joshua Selman perform the seminal Fluxus work, Drip Music, by George Brecht.

Josh and Jessica will exit through the audience into the interior performance space.

After their exit, David, from the interior doorway, will invite the audience to enter the interior performance space and find seats. He will ask the audience to remain silent and will exit to backstage.

Josh will begin playing the piano as the audience seats and will play throughout Walking Water, ending as Jing Jing enters stage.

Live feed video of the pond will be projected on the back performance wall.

The four water walkers, Mary, Jessica, Erika and Lesley, will enter from backstage carrying their buckets, followed by David who will stand next to the tanks. Mary will walk outside first. When she reaches the outer door, Jessica will follow. When she reaches the outer door Erika will follow. When she reaches the door Lesley will follow.

Mary Averill and Jessica Higgins (indoors) and Lesley Farlow (outdoors in live feed video), performing Walking Water by David Teeple.

When Mary reaches the pond she will half fill her pail and return inside to deposit the water into one of the large glass tanks and return for a second bucket. Each of the water walkers will do two fillings. The walking should be slow, measured and slightly belabored. The spacing of the water walkers should be evenly distributed throughout the interior and exterior corridor (within reason).

As each water walker deposits their final bucket, they exit backstage.

After final water walker exits, Jing Jing enters and stands in front of me. Pregnant pause. I dip into the water with a glass (with slight of hand switch to clean water) and hand to Jing Jing. She slowly drinks the glass of water and lies down in front of the glass tanks.

Lesley enters, wraps Jing Jing in red fabric, lifts her in a slow dance and exits with her backstage.

David walks to the alchemical station and enacts the water filtration procedure.

David Teeple performing Alchemy/Filtration.

Live feed video changes to Mary’s video.

When the water is filtered, Mary will enter. We will exchange currencies and I will then fill her 5-gallon bottle with some of the filtered water. She will place it in the dispenser, extract a beaker full and pour it into two awaiting glass vessels. Then the four performers will enter, don painter’s suits and proceed to fill small glass vials with water using eyedroppers and then place them in the Styrofoam blocks. Then the performers will stack the Styrofoam. 

Erika Kneer, Lesley Farlow, Mary Averill, Joshua Selman and Jessica Higgins performing Control and Distribution by Mary Averill.