[ISEA2008] Victoria Vesna – Water Bodies: Reflections on network ecologies



Water is the oil of the next century.

Thirst and the lack of water are the most devastating things that can happen to a human being. Humans can live for several weeks without food, but only about three days without water. The lack of water and its poor quality together have been directly responsible this year for 10 times more deaths than all the wars waged on planet together. Available fresh water amounts to less than half of 1% of all the water on Earth — the rest is seawater or polar ice. Fresh water is renewable only by rainfall.

The Waterbowls installation is a reflection on different aspects of water related to the collective, global human condition. Some of the most common metaphorical associations of water — such as the reflection of the moon, a drop of water, the sound of water, and oil and water — are revisited through the use of some of the latest scientific observations. Moon and Sound are locally interactive and Drop and Oil are interactive both locally and remotely, emphasizing the global connectivity of water / human systems, beyond borders.

Two main conceptual challenges are discussed – how to create an interactive work that is at once aesthetically compelling and poetic while raising awareness about water pollution and how to design an online component that is at once independent and connected to the physical project.