I’ve been writing about the project more, and talking about it more, I have some steps forward right now. First I will be conducting video interviews with people working on the waterways to find out more about why they do what they do. I will turn these into short video stories to share… (I’m taking some field video/audio production classes with BRIC to support this).
Here, also are some excerpts from writing on the project:
There is no one issue, but rather many issues tied to one entity – the urban waterway. In NYC that means a system of rivers, bays and an ocean. My challenge is to create a sense of community around this complex system. To connect and share resources, process and knowledge across the many people who interact with the waterways (tug captains, historians, beach-goers, climate scientists, artists). Through this collection of knowledge, experience and interaction begin to create a wider community of people interested in and working on the waterways – finding creative ways to express it as both a resource (recreational, commercial) and a threat (climate change).
I am currently in the research and design phase. I am creating an online database/resource of the existing research, reports, projects and general information related to the NYC waterways. Even understanding how this information can be shared and re-utilized is a challenge. I have existing partnerships with communication design professors and a theater group that are interested in utilizing the database to begin creative exploration of issues related to the waterways. As the project grows, I hope to create a artist run think tank on the water (a river barge) to convene, share, learn, explore, research, rethink, recreate and re-imagine the urban waterway.
I’m working with multiple communities, first those with whom I have a direct interaction, either through conversations, workshops, convenings and co-creation – these are the people with the direct connection to the waterways. The second are those who utilize the stories and data that I collect to develop their own creative outcomes – design students, theater groups, other artists, others that I connect with along the way. Finally, the more general public that interacts with the public activations and creations related to the waterways. Every different interpretation and intervention related to the waterway moves us farther along a change in the public understanding of the power of the waterways.