Waterpod

Waterpod: Autonomy and Ecology, the sixth exhibition of the SEA (Social Environmental Aesthetics) program, documents and revisits the Waterpod’s five-month voyage around the boroughs of New York. It includes videos, photographs, relics, art works, journal entries, and ephemera that tell the story of this unusual public art project.

The Waterpod was a floating, sculptural structure designed as a futuristic habitat and an experimental platform for assessing the design and efficacy of living systems fashioned to create an autonomous, fully functional marine shelter.

A New York-based multinational team, led by founder and artistic director Mary Mattingly, drew upon the talents of artists, designers, builders, civic activists, scientists, environmentalists, and marine engineers to bring this cross-disciplinary collaboration to fruition in the waterways of New York City. During a global recession and within strict government guidelines, the Waterpod managed to achieve new ways of community outreach, resource sharing, and art creation.

To fortify against the possibility of widespread climate change, desertification, overpopulation, and rising sea levels, the Waterpod offered a pathway to sustainable survival, mobility, and community building through a free, participatory project and event space that visited the five boroughs and Governors Island, for a voyage lasting from June to October 2009. The Waterpod’s mission has been to prepare, inform, and offer alternatives to current and future living spaces.

As a self-sufficient, navigable living space, the Waterpod showcased the critical importance of water within the natural world. Collectively embracing the richly-patterned folkways of the five boroughs of metropolitan New York, the Waterpod reified positive interactions between communities: private and public; artistic and societal; scientific and agricultural; aquatic and terrestrial.

Organized by Ian Daniel and Mary Mattingly.

EVENTS

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2010 / 7-9:30pm
Interactive Architecture: Reinventing Social Spaces
A discussion with Natalie Jeremijenko, Terreform One and BLDGBLOG creator Geoff Manaugh.

Natalie Jeremijenko is an artist whose background includes studies in biochemistry, physics, neuroscience and precision engineering. Her projects—which explore socio-technical change—have been exhibited by several museums and galleries, including the MASSMoCA, the Whitney, the Smithsonian and Cooper-Hewitt. A 1999 Rockefeller Fellow, she was recently named one of the 40 most influential designers by I.D. Magazine. Jeremijenko is the director of the Environmental Health Clinic at New York University, Assistant Professor in that University’s Visual Art Department, and has affiliated faculty appointments in Computer Science and Environmental Studies.

Terreform ONE (Open Network Ecology) is a non-profit design group that promotes green design in cities. It is a unique laboratory for scientists, artists, architects, students, and individuals of all backgrounds to explore and advance the larger framework of green design. The group develops innovative solutions and technologies for local sustainability in energy, transportation, infrastructure, buildings, waste treatment, food, water, and media spaces.

Mitchell Joachim, Ph.D. is a Co-Founder of Terreform ONE. He earned a Ph.D at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MAUD at Harvard University, an M.Arch. at Columbia University, and a BPS at SUNY Buffalo with Honors. He is currently on the faculty at Columbia University and Parsons. He has been awarded the Moshe Safdie Research Fellowship and the Martin Family Society Fellow for Sustainability. He won the History Channel/Infiniti Award for the City of the Future, New York, and Time Magazine’s Best Invention of the Year 2007. His project, Fab Tree Hab, has been exhibited at MoMA. He was selected by Wired magazine for “The 2008 Smart List: 15 People the Next President Should Listen To.” Rolling Stone also honored Mitchell in “The 100 People Who Are Changing America.”

Maria Aiolova is a Co-Founder of Terreform ONE. She received her MAUD from Harvard University, her B.Arch. from University of Sofia, Bulgaria and attended the Technical University of Vienna, Austria. She also holds a Professional Degree in Architecture from Wentworth Institute of Technology and a certificate in Green Building Design from Cooper Union. She has won first place in the CHARLES/MGH Station Competition, Boston and the Izmir Post District International Competition, Turkey. As a founder and director of Compost Art Center, a nonprofit artists residency program, Aiolova has been involved in the design and construction of affordable and dynamic spaces for artists. In 2004, she formed the Design/Build Partnership focused on simple, low-cost housing in the Hamptons, challenging the current standards of grandiosity by utilizing simple sustainable building strategies. She has taught at Wentworth Institute of Technology and Boston Architectural Center and has been a visiting lecturer and critic at Harvard GSD, Columbia University, Parsons, CUNY, Washington University, Rhode Island School of Design and University of Toronto.

Geoff Manaugh is the author of BLDGBLOG (bldgblog.blogspot.com) and
The BLDGBLOG Book, as well as Contributing Editor at Wired UK. He has lectured on a variety of design topics at schools and museums around the world, from the Bartlett School of Architecture and SCI-Arc to the Australian National Architecture Conference, Storefront for Art and Architecture, and the Center for Land Use Interpretation. He has written for Volume, Domus, and Abitare, among others, and he has contributed essays to books by photographers David Maisel and Michael Wolf. The BLDGBLOG Book was chosen by Amazon.com as one of their 100 Best Books of 2009.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 / 7-10pm
Back to Land: Waterpod Party
Tickets: $15
With a special “cleansing” meal, drinks, raffle, performances, films, journal readings, ephemera, new project highlights and much more. More details TBA.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4 / 7pm
Panel Discussion: Public Art and Sustainability
Organized and Moderated by Sara Reisman.

Panelists: Jennifer McGregor, Director of Arts and Senior Curator for Wave Hill, a public garden and cultural center in Bronx, New York; Mary Miss, artist working primarily with issues of sustainability, collaboration, and public art; and Mierle Laderman Ukeles, a “maintenance artist” known for her feminist and service-oriented artworks.

This panel discussion will focus on how public art and art in general can be sustainable, with an emphasis on how the terms “temporary” and “permanent” impact the possibilities for sustainability when it comes to artmaking.

PARTICIPANTS

Mary T. Mattingly, Founder
In 2006 her work headlined “Ecotopia,” the International Center of Photography’s Triennial. In 2007, she completed solo shows at White Box, NY, Galerie Adler, Germany, and at the New York Public Library. She has co-curated several water-based exhibitions on maritime vessels, alongside the Miami Basel Art Fair, the Venice Biennale, and the Istanbul Biennale. In 2008, Mattingly was nominated for the Prix Pictet Award and has recently exhibited work at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, France, the Tucson Museum of Art, AZ, the Neuberger Museum, NY, and at Robert Mann Gallery, NY. Her work has been reviewed in ArtForum, the New York Times, the New Yorker, Financial Times, Sculpture Magazine, Le Monde Magazine, CITY Magazine, Aperture Magazine, Nature Magazine, Brooklyn Paper, and Time Out New York. Mattingly is currently working on “Air Ship Air Cities,” a rooftop habitat in Brooklyn.

Ian Daniel, Curator/Events Coordinator
Ian Daniel is a curator and filmmaker. He graduated from DePauw University in 2004 as a Media Fellow and worked for the TODAY Show on NBC and in casting for independent films in New York. He was the Assistant Curator for the art website culturehall.org. Daniel completed a curatorial internship with The Kitchen; was the Studio Assistant to artist Piotr Uklanski; and was the Collection Assistant to the private art collection of Rachel and Jean-Pierre Lehmann. He also received a design certificate in permaculture at the Lost Valley Eco-Village in Eugene, Oregon. Daniel and artist Mary Mattingly are currently working on a new project, “Air Ship Air City,” of which Daniel is the Creative Director.

John McGarvey, Executive Director
John has been a local and international Art/Technology/Creative consultant for the past 15 years as well as an art and political activist. A kayaker and maritime environmental proponent for 10 years in the New York waterways, he is a primary organizer for the Long Island Community Boathouse. John has also done professional Hollywood film kayak stunt work on the East River as well as water rescue. John is currently the Director of Development for the Action Arts League and on the Board of Directors of Millennium Film Workshop. John is also working on a film titled “The Greatest Silence.”

Carissa Carmen, Waterpod Living Systems
Lonny Grafman, Waterpod Advisor
Mira E. Hunter, Virtual Director
Derek N. Hunter, Lead Builder/Construction Director
Gabriel Krause, Lead Designer
Eve K. Tremblay, Co-Curator, Waterpod Advisor
Hendrik “Rik” Van Hemmen, Waterpod Advisor
Alison Ward, Waterpod Resident
Tressie Word, Greywater System Designer for Waterpod

ABOUT THE WATERPOD

The Waterpod was featured in media around the world, including publications and television stations such as ABC, NBC, BBC, NPR, Fox News, Voice of America, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The New Yorker Magazine, The Financial Times, Sculpture Magazine, ArtForum, Le Monde Magazine, CITY Magazine, Discover Magazine, Nature Magazine, The Brooklyn Paper, and many others.

SEA (Social-Environmental Aesthetics)

SEA is a unique endeavor that presents a diverse multimedia exhibition program and permanent archive of artworks that address social and environmental concerns. SEA will assemble artists, activists, scientists and scholars to address environmental issues through presentations of visual art, performances, panels and lecture series that will communicate international activities concerning environmental and social activism. SEA will occupy a permanent space in Exit Underground, a 3000 square-foot, multi-media performance, film and exhibition venue underneath Exit Art’s main gallery space. The SEA archive will be a permanent archive of information, images and videos that will be a continuous source for upcoming exhibitions and projects. Central to SEA’s mission is to provide a vehicle through which the public can be made aware of socially- and environmentally-engaged work, and to provide a forum for collaboration between artists, scientists, activists, scholars and the public. SEA functions as an initiative where individuals can join together in dialogue about issues that affect our daily lives.

EXHIBITION SUPPORT

General exhibition support provided by AdoramaPix, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Bloomberg LP; Jerome Foundation; Lambent Foundation, a project of the Tides Center; Pollock-Krasner Foundation; public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn; Exit Art’s Board of Directors and our members.