October 31, 2016
Torches create pinpoints of light in the darkness. Dancers weave in spiraling lines down the banks of the Mississippi. Flaming boats trail glowing lines of molten light across the river. The water itself appears to transform into liquid fire. These dramatic images are the culmination of Hydro-Illuminata, a three-month long community conversation about water sustainability.
Hydro-Illuminata is an outreach project that uses the community engagement principles of public art and art-making to bring a wider audience into a deeper conversation with Mississippi Watershed Management Organization about improving water quality and protecting our watershed resources.
Hydro-Illuminata reveals the theme of transformation in our environment and our lives. This project consists of three interconnected phases:
1) Art-Making: community workshops spread throughout the watershed district
2) Performance: a spectacular cast iron event on the banks of the Mississippi
3) Exhibition: an art exhibition featuring community castings
During the community art-making workshops, members of the Mississippi watershed district create individual and collaborative group molds to be cast at the public cast iron and performance event. Workshop participants retain their individual artworks following the final exhibition.
Following the workshops is public event on the banks of the Mississippi River. The event features a procession, music, choreography, projections on the river, and a cast iron performance. During this spectacular event, the molds made from the community workshops are cast in molten iron. The art-making process becomes the art itself with elemental displays using fire, water, earth, and air.