they didn't bring enough water (2019)

William Smart, Lindsey french (co-author)

About this exposition

In early 2016, Lindsey french and Willy Smart gleaned water samples during a series of anomalous rainstorms in the Southern Californian desert. Later, these samples were ‘released’ publicly via personal humidifiers. Combining photographic documentation of humidity, the affected certainty of diagrams, and an associative written text that slips between theoretical and personal registers, the research exposition, “they didn’t bring enough water,” catalogs this process of reception and release. The project floats on our attempt to follow a logic of water in our research — from the start then there is no pretense toward rigid methodology. We collected samples erratically, in line as much with our moods as with the sites we’d marked out in advance of the trip as potential intrigues. In other words, the bonds we seek out here aren’t those of solidarity, but liquidarity. Water is not then the tested object of our actions, but rather an active agent in our research. Crucially, the release was staged publically: the humidifiers fogged up the windows, our breaths mixed. Release here is meant in the sense of a record release — of circulation — rather than in the sense of a caged animal set free. The materials collected in this research exposition include photographs of each water sample at the moment of its release, diagrams of forms taken by the released water vapor, and a written text. The text folds (but does not tie — liquidarity reigns here too) historic information on sample sites with personal associations and theoretical conversations initiated during the days of collection: during long drives, before sleep, and at the sites themselves. The text thus is loose — it slips between pronouns and landscapes and concepts — there’s not quite enough present perhaps for total coherence, like the sign we encountered at a trailhead at the beginning of the research trip — “THEY DIDN’T BRING ENOUGH WATER.” This apparent warning, with its seductive vagueness, would crystallize in the following days into an aphoristic methodology that is carried over into the presentation of materials here. What we didn’t bring perhaps we (perhaps you) will find here.
typeresearch exposition
keywordswater, humidity, collection, release, new media, old media, landscape, transmission, salinity, extraction, Salton Sea
last modified15/02/2019
published inResearch Catalogue

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