1 episode

In “Corson’s Inlet,” the narrator transforms the capricious eddies and streams of the shoreline into a metaphor for changing thought and action: they inspire him to accept nature’s unpre- dictability as well as the natural flux of his ideas. “In nature,” he writes, “there are few sharp lines...I have reached no conclusions, have erected no boundaries...” Like the swerving waves, he leaves himself open to changes of state.
With its unpredictable flow through the landscape, water reminds us of how we negotiate the constant transformations in our lives, communities, and environments. It is a powerful metaphor because of its fundamental, yet delicate, connection to life. When water “changes state” in our local environments, we feel its effects profoundly. The disappearance of native wetlands, shoreline erosion, polluted waterways, drought, fluctuating sea levels, and devastating storms serve as recent reminders of water’s immediate impact as a natural, cultural, and political force in the Southeast.
Like the narrator of “Corson’s Inlet,” the contributors to Water: Three States explore process and transformation, characteristics fundamental to water itself. The incessant motion of Martha Whittington’s sculptures recalls dowsing, the practice of divining water sources, and suggests a new and urgent need for the resource. Xiaotian Wang’s mutated images of the Chattahoochee River reveal the landscape through a veil of color created by developing the images in the river’s now-polluted water. Through the painstaking pinhole photography process, Daniel Kariko exposes the gradual, yet stark, corrosion of the contemporary Gulf Coast. Andy Behrle demonstrates the actual process of erosion by allowing water to exert its physical force within the gallery.
Water: Three States also embodies the process of eroding boundaries between art and science and expert and citizen. In Xavier Cortada’s The Reclamation Project students and faculty help to grow live mangrove seedlings in the gallery before the artist returns the plants to the threatened mangrove forests of the Florida coast. Beth Maynor Young’s photographs of Alabama’s waterways document and preserve these beautiful ecosystems, as well as create awareness about their fragile nature. Alabama Water Watch in the Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures at Auburn University educates and empowers ordinary citizens by teaching them to monitor, restore, and protect water resources in their own communities.
The contributors to Water: Three States are part of a broader conversation in which boundaries to innovative thinking about water are being washed away. Their work demonstrates the need to transform our thoughts and accept new “eddies of meaning” as we face the challenges of water issues in the Southeast.
—Kathryn M. Floyd, Assistant Professor of Art History, Department of Art

Water: Three States - Group 1 Auburn University

    • Podcasts

In “Corson’s Inlet,” the narrator transforms the capricious eddies and streams of the shoreline into a metaphor for changing thought and action: they inspire him to accept nature’s unpre- dictability as well as the natural flux of his ideas. “In nature,” he writes, “there are few sharp lines...I have reached no conclusions, have erected no boundaries...” Like the swerving waves, he leaves himself open to changes of state.
With its unpredictable flow through the landscape, water reminds us of how we negotiate the constant transformations in our lives, communities, and environments. It is a powerful metaphor because of its fundamental, yet delicate, connection to life. When water “changes state” in our local environments, we feel its effects profoundly. The disappearance of native wetlands, shoreline erosion, polluted waterways, drought, fluctuating sea levels, and devastating storms serve as recent reminders of water’s immediate impact as a natural, cultural, and political force in the Southeast.
Like the narrator of “Corson’s Inlet,” the contributors to Water: Three States explore process and transformation, characteristics fundamental to water itself. The incessant motion of Martha Whittington’s sculptures recalls dowsing, the practice of divining water sources, and suggests a new and urgent need for the resource. Xiaotian Wang’s mutated images of the Chattahoochee River reveal the landscape through a veil of color created by developing the images in the river’s now-polluted water. Through the painstaking pinhole photography process, Daniel Kariko exposes the gradual, yet stark, corrosion of the contemporary Gulf Coast. Andy Behrle demonstrates the actual process of erosion by allowing water to exert its physical force within the gallery.
Water: Three States also embodies the process of eroding boundaries between art and science and expert and citizen. In Xavier Cortada’s The Reclamation Project students and faculty help to grow live mangrove seedlings in the gallery before the artist returns the plants to the threatened mangrove forests of the Florida coast. Beth Maynor Young’s photographs of Alabama’s waterways document and preserve these beautiful ecosystems, as well as create awareness about their fragile nature. Alabama Water Watch in the Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures at Auburn University educates and empowers ordinary citizens by teaching them to monitor, restore, and protect water resources in their own communities.
The contributors to Water: Three States are part of a broader conversation in which boundaries to innovative thinking about water are being washed away. Their work demonstrates the need to transform our thoughts and accept new “eddies of meaning” as we face the challenges of water issues in the Southeast.
—Kathryn M. Floyd, Assistant Professor of Art History, Department of Art

    • video
    Water: Three States panel-session

    Water: Three States panel-session

    • 35 min

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