The Potawatomi people noted that “a bay is a noun only if the water is dead. When the bay is a noun, it is trapped between its shores and contained by the word”. This work recognizes the agency of water and challenges the idea of water as a noun defined by humans. Water is always moving, changing, and choosing.
to be a bay
In the language of Potawatomi people, wiikwegamaa is a verb meaning to be a bay. They indicate that it is the water decides to be a bay or turn into a pond, a stream or disappear when the living place is uninhabitable. This work consists of sounds and a set of five glasses about the re-evaluation of the relationship with water and re-connection with nature. It invites people to stay for a while to hear the sounds generated by the water.
The water in the glasses is collected from five different locations of Lam Tsuen River in Hong Kong, including the natural upstream water (22°44’N 114°13’E), the pumping station water (22°27’N 114°09’E), tap water (22°44’N 114°16’E), street water (22°45’N 114°16’E), and the water from sea (22°44’N 114°17’E). The installation chooses the goblet, which is usually used for wine, as the container to store the water sample. This design considers the new possible relationship between water and human and tries to reconstruct it. The spinning speed of each glass is mapped from the detected water flow speed at the same location where the water sample is gathered. This event, combining water, rotation, and friction, generates nice and smooth sounds, and each type of water has its own pitch. The glasses are arranged in front of the corresponding video of the location where the water lived. The shadows and lights at back create an extra enjoyable visual.
Code / Projection
Electronics / Wood
FutureTense Media Art Award - Winner
Water Samples from Five locations of Lam Tsuen River.