This awesome project, Rescue H2O, is an eccentric but relevant offshoot from my Schuylkill River photography. While exploring by boat and on foot, over the last year I collected 100+ balls as they floated down the Philadelphia portion of the river or landed on the banks: soccer balls, pimple balls, kickballs, beach balls, ping pong balls, etc. In the next two months more balls will be collected; I'm hoping for 150+. With these rescued balls, I propose to assemble numerous H2O molecules. Like atoms, the balls will be attracted to each other – by magnets. They'll stick together like the familiar H2O models, three balls for each. Positive poles will face out from the smaller H balls, and negative poles will face out on the larger O balls. The assembled model molecules will be elevated 4-6 feet on thin stakes stuck in the ground, adorning the waterfront in a jazzy thicket or formal row.
There is a definite date and exhibition venue. I have already been accepted into Art in the Open, Schuylkill Banks, May 16-18, 2014, when I must construct my installation of H2O molecules onsite along the river during those three days.
Visitors to the festival, including children, can help me create them by choosing the colorful balls from two piles, H balls and O balls, and sticking them together.
The resulting installation along the riverfront will be very beautiful, funny, and educational. The education starts when people ask where the balls came from. Then we can talk about stormwater runoff, and the importance of managing the whole watershed for the health of the river.
Though I've had a long career in photography, this will be my first 3D public installation. My Art Car covered with marbles is still in my back yard.
Funded by Philadelphia, PA (March 2014)