Research Pavilion #3 Venice 2019

Saara Hannula: [tracing] acqua alta

Acqua alta is the Venetian term for the postnatural tidal events occurring in the Venetian Lagoon. Their extent, intensity, and timing are dependent on a range of astronomical, geophysical, meteorological, and anthropogenic factors, such as the movement and alignment of celestial bodies, the geometric shape of the sea basin, the construction of bridges, dams and channels, the modification of the coastal line, excessive groundwater pumping, the sinking of the soil level, and the direction of northbound seasonal winds. Due to global warming and the resulting rise in sea levels, the tidal events have recently become more common, extreme and unpredictable: in fall 2018, the floods reached some of the highest levels ever recorded, covering a large part of the city in water. 

As a part of my work at the Research Pavilion, I will engage with acqua alta as a contingent yet techno-scientifically delimited phenomenon that calls the permanence of the historic sites, the stability of contemporary infrastructures, and the framework of the biennial into question. The research process will be shared through a processual exposition installed at the pavilion and on Research Catalogue.