Image Credit: AusBlau, The Butterfly Bridge 01, 2021. Photographer: Christophe Dichmann
Conceived as a new platform for radical learning and collective making in public space, both online and on-site, WaterWays aims to restore and regenerate broken relationships between humans and the living organisms of the Regent's Canal. At the core of the project is the commission of the artist collectives AusBlau and Applied Logic that have co-created a digital game for environmental data collection. By looking at the biodiversity of Camley Street Natural Park and recognising it through canal emojis, the game reflects on who can collect data, how this is accessible as well as how it can improve our relations with the immediate surrounding.
Behind the scenes, WaterWays creates an ecosystem of alliances recognising agency to those who have been working with water and data for much longer than the curatorial team; the project involves scientists and botanists, Central Saint Martins students working on projects to protect the ecosystem, local inhabitants closely linked to the aquatic environment, as well as artists and creative practitioners.
It starts off with a Canal Assembly at Camley Street Natural Park. Here, Central Saint Martins students are invited by the curatorial team to re-imagine the canal as a learning space, sharing ideas and pieces of their personal research on these fragile ecosystems. The students are also introduced to the WaterWays commission, working collaboratively with the artists, giving feedback, and testing the prototype digital game.
The project continues with a series of interviews that offer more expansive research into the ecology of the Regents Canal. These vary from a conversation with botanist and researcher Mark Spencer, to a discussion with the artist and urban farmer Michael Smith, to an exchange with the architect Carlotta Novella as well as a number of testimonials from inhabitants of the canal.
The project documentation as well as the artist commision are ultimately collected and stored into a new sustainable and low-impact website, designed by the collective Applied Logic. The aim is to reflect on the legacy of the project itself and create an archive for future interactions and collaborations.
The launch of the website and celebration of WaterWays will take place the 21 May at Camley Street Natural Park.
MA Curators: Marjorier Ding, Yixiong Cui, Chiara Famengo, Kylee Kim, Jiaqi Liu and Fergus Wiltshire
Artists: Applied Logic and AusBlau
Programme of Events
21 May: Celebration from 2–4pm at Camley Street Natural Park
Performance at 3:30pm