Water Quality Sing-a-long
Plotform (Jane D. Marsching + Andi Sutton)
with Sara Wichterman and Richard Sutton
June 11 9pm-6am, singing at 4:45am, Mill Ruins Park
On June 11 on a bit of parkland at the edge of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Plotform installed 36 flags, water bottles, led lights, and data scales. The piece focused on water bodies within the Twin Cities that are often overlooked (puddles, tap water, fountain spray, etc.). We gathered samples and test 24 sites, identifying chemical and bacterial levels to see what affects human and non-human species health. We photographed the sites and created flags with the images that were light throughout the nite with small led lights and hung on a colored scale according the quality of the water. Water from the sites contained in ordinary glass jars could be examined for clarity and color. Throughout the night, visitors looked at the sites, water, and data, and shared stories of their own experiences, fears, and questions about water quality in the city.
At dawn we sang. Using songs from a variety of traditions (folk, gospel, rock, protest) we changed some of the words, changed pitch and intonation, and directed singers in simple movements to experiment with ways to sing water quality data. We asked: can a song scale tell a story about the challenges our watershed faces now and into the future? Can joining our voices together in song create an embodied engagement with this essential element of our individual, community, and ecosystem health?
Images by Kyra Nygard and Sara Wichterman