January 9, 2010 until February 6, 2010 // Exit Art Gallery // New York, NY
Organized by Mary Mattingly and Ian Daniel.
Waterpod: Autonomy and Ecology, the sixth exhibition of the SEA (Social Envrionmental Aesthetics) program, is a survey of 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.