Address the River
Collaborative project: Elizabeth Mackie and Kaitlyn Paston
Sculpture: Elizabeth Mackie
Video and Sound: Kaitlyn Paston
Exhibition: October 12th – December 7th, 2019
Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA
Nancy Agati Ligia Bouton and Matt Donovan
Isabelle Demers and Fanny Mesnard Miguel Horn
Elizabeth Mackie and Kaitlyn Paston Simone Spicer
Grant McFarland and Anna Van Voorhis Stephen Talasnik
Jean-Yves Vigneau Giorgia Volpe
Address the River:
Climate change is evidence of human influence on the planet’s timeline. Address the River draws attention to the harmful effects of society’s behavior on our beloved resource, the Delaware River.
The river has been critical to the economy and local culture for centuries. Before European settlement, it was essential to the people of the Lenapehoking and continues to play a key role in the individual lives of residents of Philadelphia and the many towns in Pennsylvania and New Jersey which run along its sides.South of Trenton, the river is influenced by the tide. Climate change brings increasingly intense storms and a global rise in sea levels. The harbor in Philadelphia
is affected by this global trend. Water quality in the Delaware is also threatened by the micro-plastics entering its stream. Plastics coming through the sewage systems and from other sources degrade into
tiny pieces over time. Synthetic fibers in fabrics are also a dominant source of micro-plastic pollution. These unforeseen byproducts of
our consumer civilization are extremely harmful to waterways and aquatic life.
In the tradition of personifying bodies of water as women, the bodiless dress overlooking the harbor visualizes projected water level rises in coming years. It is accompanied by a soundscape which gives the water a female voice. The dress also represents society’s materialistic beauty ideals and fashion’s damaging contributions to water pollution. In the context of imminent climate change, the large figure is a guardian of the water asking us to look closer at the connection between our priorities as humans and our dependence on the natural resources of the Earth.