Exploring the challenges of Auckland’s water

Press Release – University of Auckland

A collective of artists, scientists, educators and environmental researchers seeking to raise awareness of water issues in Auckland City have created a unique interactive art event which will open to coincide with World Water Day.

The Fluid City Project, an arts/science/education collaborative performance - Performer: Trish Wood, STRUT. Photographer: Russell Scoones. Performer: Trish Wood, STRUT. Photographer: Russell Scoones.
Exploring the challenges of Auckland’s water A collective of artists, scientists, educators and environmental researchers seeking to raise awareness of water issues in Auckland City have created a unique interactive art event which will open to coincide with World Water Day.

The Fluid City Project, an arts/science/education collaborative performance, is part of the Thematic Research Initiative, Transforming Cities: Innovations for Sustainable Futures hosted by the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries (NICAI) at The University of Auckland.

Featuring mobile architectural installations, a wandering interactive scientific laboratory, audio-visual sound walks and site-specific choreography, Fluid City is designed to entertain audiences while raising awareness of contemporary water issues.

Using the Silo Park in the Wynyard Quarter, which has historically been an area for port-related industry, Fluid City presents stories, memories and the science of water in Tamaki Mākaurau.

Drawing on different water narratives, the project employs an interdisciplinary approach to critically examine the uses, values, impacts and future challenges facing local water resources.

The public will have the opportunity to interact with different aspects of the project in a variety of ways. The Story-Telling Vessel will enable them to hear stories about water and to contribute their own, while the Roving Laboratory opens up to reveal microscopes and test tubes allowing people to carry out their own water testing. The Roaming Cinema features animation displaying the myriad ways in which water features in our everyday lives and in the context of Auckland’s urban catchment.

The site specific choreographed performance Blood of Trees features a “walkscape” where viewers can connect to the history, ecology and mauri (life force) of the environment using audio technologies.

Researchers from NICAI, the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Education at the University have pooled their collective knowledge and experience to create this unique event.

This year’s UN World Water Day theme is “water and food security”. With seven billion people on the planet and another two billion expected by 2050, water resources are under pressure – not only in terms of scarcity and future supply demand, but also with regard to the quality of water and sustaining the health of aquatic ecosystems.

This project communicates across disciplines and aims to engage and educate the public about critical issues, with a focus on water. Scientific knowledge can be translated via the arts and education into a format in which the public can participate.

“We have come to appreciate that water is so much more than H20 – it is central to our health and wellbeing as citizens of a water planet,” says urban researcher, and Fluid City Project Leader Dr Charlotte Šunde. “Whether we pollute or protect our urban waterways is a direct result of the ways we use water in every aspect of our lives, and which values and knowledge we privilege with regard to water and the environment.”

Fluid City takes place on Thursday 22 March and Sunday 25 March at the Silo Park and Wynyard Quarter on Auckland’s waterfront. www.creative.auckland.ac.nz/fluidcity

Thursday 22 March: Performance walk starting times: 12.30pm, 5.30pm Installation operation times: 12-2pm, 5-7pm

Sunday 25 March: Performance walk starting times: 10.30am, 3.30pm Installation operation times: 10am-12pm, 3-5pm

The University of Auckland’s National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries comprises the School of Architecture and Planning, the Dance Studies Programme, Elam School of Fine Arts, the Centre for Art Research (CAR) and the School of Music.

ENDS

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