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Freshwater Testing Art Kit

Artistic collaborations with freshwater systems + data across Metro Vancouver

Project Details

Project dates
14/01/2024  – 08/02/2024
Everett Crowley Park, Kerr Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Joshua Ralph

Project Lead

Visually realizing collected water sample data into communal artworks using a water marbling technique.

Project Description

The project led groups in discussing the ecologies and colonial histories of the freshwater systems and lands which the varied workshop spaces were held as an act of placemaking, calling to question what role we play in these changed and changing ecosystems. Participants were guided on freshwater testing protocols, measuring and recording pH, alkalinity, hardness, chlorine, dissolved oxygen, as well as water conductivity. In collecting this data, from a Western science-perspective, we were able to fill in knowledge gaps of the changing ecologies of Metro Vancouver’s urban riparian areas. The tested water was then used as a base for generative paper marbling art with alcohol ink, the colors reflecting the specifics of the data, visually realizing the collected records through generative art making for the project’s legacy piece.

Public workshops held at Everett Crowley Park, Trout Lake, Murdo Frazer Park, among five other sampled sites.

What was your biggest challenge?

Digging up specific historical information on the various waterways that were surveyed was sometimes a challenge. I often found myself over-encumbered with the supplies required for on-site use.

What was your most valuable takeaway?

I feel as though I have become more literate in my understandings of freshwater systems, and that I have made a positive impact in opening up for other’s engagement on water testing protocols and the collaborations between art and ecology.
The project was a practice of realizing that art is meant to shift and change as time pulls forward. There are no closed systems.

Invasive Art Initiative

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