Visualize the ecological collapse and, moreover, make it comprehensible, instead of merely documenting the climate catastrophe through photographs and creating a paralyzing sense of hopelessness among the public. With this goal in mind, Hydromedia: Seeing with water encourages artists to develop new and enticing protocols for rethinking and reshaping the relationship between humans and nature.
In collaboration with environmentalists and scientists, new methods and tools will be created during individual residencies at research sites in Antwerp, Utrecht and Karlsruhe.
A total of twelve selected fellows will be part of the EU-funded project. Four of them already worked in the Scheldt estuary near Antwerp, a living climate laboratory with special characteristics, in April 2023. The area, which is determined by the river's ebb and flow, contains brackish, saline and freshwater habitats and forms a unique ecosystem of mudflats and salt marshes. The wetlands and polders have great value as purification and floodplain areas, which is important in light of rising sea levels. When managed ecologically, these marshes can also store large amounts of CO2, providing important services in the fight against global warming. In addition, these aquatic reserves are home to endangered species, from waterfowl to eels to otters, as well as saltwater plants such as algae and kelp, which play an important role in the ecological transition to a carbon-neutral future. Starting in September 2023, these works will be shown for the first time in a first exhibition in Antwerp.
The residency with another four artist:s in Karlsruhe is planned for April 2024. The Open Call will be published in July via the website hydromedia.org. The Karlsruhe team consists of Matthias Bruhn, Susanne Kriemann and Vanessa Bosch. The website design was done by alumni Johanna Schäfer and Bruno Jacoby.
A final exhibition and publication with all the works of the participants will then be on display in the Technical Museum Dresden in the fall of 2024.