In the Current (In the Loop)

Rivers, of course, are metaphors for time – and nature, and for history, all of which, are irreversible processes. The hydrological cycle however is cyclical. [1]
Robert Hass

In the Current
In the Current

In the Current forms one layer of a palimpsest of works about the Cooks River in Sydney and is my contribution to the exhibition In the Loop: Feeding the Polyphonic Present. Created for the show it seeks to convey in some sense my research to date about the river. Unglamorous and unlovely the Cooks River has been altered beyond recognition in the last two centuries by the gaze of non-indigenous peoples.  Through misappropriation, mismanagement and channeling, the river has largely been turned into a drain and is now amongst the most polluted rivers in Australia.  Based on the cosmopolitical proposal of French theorist Isabelle Stengers[2] In the Current seeks ‘to “slow down” reasoning and create an opportunity to arouse a slightly different awareness of the problems and situation mobilising us.’ It asks the viewer to consider their place in relation to the river, and not only how their presence and actions have a direct effect, and continuing relevance within political ecology. What this work seeks to explicate is the proposition that there is no identity of practice independent of its environment and our own position, as well as that of non-human actors must be considered in terms of co-existence, and our collective becoming.

Water is collected from various points along the stretch of the Cooks River, and there is one bottle for every kilometre. The tape loop plays a hydrophone recording of underwater sounds and the interactive projection, created in conjunction with Alex Mesker, changes colour according to the observer’s presence. The longer you sty the more opaque the colour becomes(see below).

[1] Hass, Robert. What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination and the Natural World. New York, NY, USA: Ecco Press, 2013.

[2] Stengers, Isabelle. “The Cosmopolitical Proposal.” Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy, 2005, 994–1003.

In the Current (photo by Effy Alexadis)
In the Current (photo by Effy Alexadis)
In the Current (photo by me!)
In the Current (photo by me!)
In the Loop: Feeding the Polyphonic Present exhibition
In the Loop: Feeding the Polyphonic Present exhibition (photo by Effy Alexadis)
2015-10-28 15.17.45
Water form the Cooks River
projection detail with observer present
2015-10-28 15.19.59
Work in site
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