River of Shadows

River of Shadows meditates on surface tension as a means to explore water and extractive growth-based economies as the driving force of climate change. (Created for a Third Coast Disrupted: Artists + Scientists on Climate in Chicago in 2021



This video was made specifically thinking about flooding and flood-prone infrastructure in the Chicago area. I now live in a region suffering the opposite water issue, one of continued “exceptional drought”. My home is a block away from the Ventura River, which reflects craggy oaks and Turkey vulture cyclones and now has mostly evaporated. This lack of water is most strikingly illustrated by the lake Casitas reservoir, who supplies drinking and agriculture water to the area. Image three shows the rings along the shore where the water annually recedes. I feel the water and lack of it every day.



As I reflect on water and belief systems I think of the myth of Narcissus. Narcissus dies gazing at his reflection in a pool of water. After his death a narcissus flower sprouts in his place. The myth is a cautionary tale of self-obsession especially pertinent in an age of individualism. But maybe it could be read as the opposite, if you were to sit and reflect on yourself in the water perhaps you would“remember you are water” -Adrienne Marree Brown, emergent strategy.



Caring for the waters is a process of healing ourselves and aligning belief systems again towards one that does not separate humans from nature but sees the interconnection with all systems.



How do you fall in love with your waterness? How can we care, live and die in a way that supports the flourishing of life? With areas witnessing deluge and others drought, how do we create and support systems that are resilient, where the bubble never completely bursts and is also never completely empty?

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