“Submerging” began with noticing everyday disruptions in the public water system that registered on the level of the senses. Many of us are adept at blocking out sounds of our environment and mechanisms of our infrastructure. Often the processes and structures that we take for granted become present only when something goes wrong: when there is a breach, an error, a misfire, or a disaster. This project was inspired by an encounter with an accidental spring flowing from a crack in the asphalt. Returning home in the dark, I heard the gurgling of water rising in my ears as I walked. Upon approaching the source, I found a stream bubbling up from the surface and tumbling down the street. Questions about the infrastructure of the water system—its maintenance and its invisibility—led me to undertake a two-month ethnographic research project that focused on the system and those who are responsible for its management.
In the gallery, the installation brought together video, audio, and photography, to highlight the fugitive and enigmatic qualities of the system. Testing the limits of media to capture the obscure processes and spaces of one public water system, “Submerging” questions our awareness of infrastructure while making the movement, flow, and management of water newly palpable and sensorially present to visitors.
I (03:19sec): https://soundcloud.com/jena-seiler/submerging-triptych-1
II (03:13sec): https://soundcloud.com/jena-seiler/submerging-triptych-2
III (03:23sec): https://soundcloud.com/jena-seiler/sumberging-triptych-3