Nov 2018 – Jan 2019 | Wallplay OnCanal
This exhibition took place on Canal St in New York City. I wanted to create a piece based on the history of the site so I began to research the story of Canal St. Canal St. exists because of a failed remediation effort to contain toxic water. A nearby fresh water source became heavily contaminated by the breweries, tanneries and slaughterhouses that developed on its shores in addition to the local residents using it for a waste dump. First they filled the pond but were unaware that it was fed from underground springs. The wastewater began to seep out. To expedite flushing the water into the Hudson River, they dug a canal. The canal quickly became a stagnant and they decided to build a road on top of it and turn it into a sewer. That sewer still runs under Canal St. today. So I then looked at what was happening in New York City today when it came to toxic water remediation efforts. The Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek are both heavily contaminated waterways that have been declared Superfund sites by the EPA and are undergoing remediation. Before industrialization contaminated the waterways they were used by the early inhabitants as fresh water sources for agriculture. I wondered what would happen if we needed to rely on the waters to cultivate food today. So I built the sculpture as a functional hydroponic system and created an experiment to test the ability to grow wheatgrass. The video content was created from on-site projection mapping installations at both the canal and creek.