Bodies exceed humanity. They remind us that we are part of something vaster—and smaller—more complex, more connected than our mere existence as an atomized species. Our bodies, and bodies in general, are comprised of heterogeneity and multitudes. All bodies are wet collective bodies defined by how they link to other bodies, places, environments, technologies. Think of breathing, clogging, decomposing, discharging, flushing, lubricating, melting, menstruating, transfusing. Bodies exist as trans- and extra-territorial beings. They live in hybridity. This porous condition produces a planetary wet-togetherness, a “commoning” force that constitutes all bodies as collective hydro-subjects.
Wet-Togetherness is a collaboration between e-flux and the 13th Shanghai Biennale, Bodies of Water, curated by Andrés Jaque, Marina Otero Verzier, Lucia Pietroiusti, Filipa Ramos, and YOU Mi, and organized and promoted by the Power Station of Art. It consists of nine sound pieces in which 21 artists, activists, and researchers enact aqueousness through sound. The series has been edited by José Luis Espejo and Rubén Coll, with sound design by Tomoko Sauvage, coordination by Roberto González García, and locutions by Yang Yang.
Episode 8: Discharging. With a sound piece by researchers and designers Jingru (Cyan) Cheng, Marco Ferrari, and Elise Hunchuck (in collaboration)
Rainmaking is a long-lasting human dream. Triggering water precipitation in air to combat water scarcity, drought, and global warming has driven spiritual cultural practices, scientific studies, and territorial conflicts. It has materialized in countless ceremonies, rituals, and other technologically enabled practices. Human ambition to tame the environment drives the proliferation of contemporary cloud seeding programs, which speaks about the political, ecological, and social consequences of the extraction of what is common.
Jingru (Cyan) Cheng, Marco Ferrari, and Elise Hunchuck talk about Sky River, a project supported by the Chinese government to work on the watershed of the Huang He (Yellow River) through weather engineering and aimed at mitigating the territory’s increasing drought conditions. Articulating a new planetary and atmospheric imaginary, Sky River positions the water that circulates in the upper atmosphere not as a natural occurrence but as an asset that can be secured through infrastructure. Precipitation is, in this context, a readily available water source that could be managed through a distributed network of cloud-seeding devices, while the tracking of weather patterns can be done via sophisticated remote-sensing technologies.