ISEA2008 Juried Exhibition
Georg Tremmel (Austria/Japan), Shiho Fukuhara (Japan) & Yousuke Nagao (Japan)
Hosted by: Singapore-Delft Water Alliance (SDWA)
Water in Singapore can never be taken for granted. Most of it is brought into the country from Malaysia, but the city-state is always looking for ways to produce its own supplies, with reverse osmosis being the most recent method. As a metaphor of this ongoing 'search for water', the artists are sourcing for water across Singapore using an ancient, albeit completely un-scientific technique. Dowsing is the practice of using a flexible rod to 'divine' the location of water underground. It was believed that the dowsing rods acts as an amplifier of the body's 'natural' sensing of underground water.
As a fusion of body, instrument and landscape, dowsing was a pre-scientific form of location-positioning technology, and - for the artwork - the artists tried to combine this age old 'technology' with modern sensing methods. The dowsing rods were enhanced with GPS and Motion Sensors, allowing data to be collected, correlated and juxtaposed to hard scientific water data to create a map of potential water sources. And if all goes well, we could end up with ‘new’ newater!
Shiho Fukuhara (Japan) and Georg Tremmel (Austria/Japan) have been collaborating on projects involving art and science since 2001. They have founded Biopresence BCL, an artistic research laboratory and open development platform dedicated to exploring the interfaces between art, science, design, technology and society. Yousuke Nagao (Japan) has a background in Information Design (Kyushu Institute of Design) and Media Art (IAMAS). In his work he is concerned with the mediation of technological tools, human relations and social dialogues.