The “World Water Museum” installation, in the broader context of its activities in 2014, took over the processing and presentation of one of the 18 international nodes of WATERWHEEL WORLD WATER DAY SYMPOSIUM – 3WDS14, the global Internet platform for water, which is based in Brisbane Australia.
The SYMPOSIUM was held during the week before the celebration of World Water Day, ended with the celebration, on March 22, 2014 and broadcast online through its own web platform.
Scientists, activists, artists, speakers from Ted, communities, young people and children interacted with the public online, from nodes of Argentina, Australia, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Morocco, New Zealand, Poland, USA, Taiwan and Tunisia.
The Greek node participated with seven presentations in Athens, Piraeus, Varkiza and Volos. The presentation of the node hosted at Technohoros gallery and it broadcast live from the Historical Archives – Museum of Hydra (HAMY)
The projects participated in the node are the following:
1. One Hundred Boats, One Hundred Waters
2. Promises to children of the future
3. Message in a Bottle – Not presented at Technohoros gallery because they had not yet
completed its all phases.
4. World Water Museum
5. Ask the flask
6. Vital Space
7. Amorgos Water Oracle
“One Hundred Boats, One Hundred Waters” by Lea Petrou, and children from International School of Piraeus – at Piraeus
The interactive performance titled “One Hundred Boats, One Hundred Waters” was realized by the visual artist Lea Petrou in collaboration with a group of 2nd and 4th grade students of the International School of Piraeus (IB candidate school). Piraeus is a city built by the sea and has two ports: one for small boats and one for big ships, which is of the biggest ones in Europe. Therefore the ISP students are similarly sensitive towards the sea as well as the drinking water pollution.
One hundred paper boats were constructed, especially designed to carry messages concerning the importance of keeping clean both sweet and salty water. Additionally, one hundred plastic water glasses were illustrated with drawings related to the water cycle. During visual art class, Lea Petrou inspired the students to create all drawings and illustrations, driven by specific PYP lines of inquiry.
One hundred boats and one hundred plastic glasses filled with tap water were handed out to people around the streets of Piraeus. The performance lasted one and a half hours, outside Cake Pastry Shop, on Tuesday 18th March.
Statement: Lea Petrou’s art-work is an attempt to approach different ways of reading and encountering reality. Communication, translation, conversions, codes and metric systems are notions that intrigue her and emerge in her artistic practice in different ways. She also deals with interpretations that are defined geographically, such as our understanding of time, movement and speech.
Her art-work often reveals an interactive aspect, which is important for the completion of her pieces. She approaches people walking on the streets or working at different offices and shops. Gallery visitors, school and university students, locals, tourists or immigrants of different geographical locations are all invited to participate in, host and / or even construct her projects. This way the work acquires an anthropomorphic character and the audience becomes both the content and context of her art-work.
“Promises to children of the future” by Helen Anastasiou and children from Interactive European School – at Varkiza
Through a live performance our children appealed and spoke to the children of the future, assuring them that from now on they will care and will protect the water in order them to have the amount of water will need then. With much sensitivity ensured the children of the future generations that from their side will make prudent and rational use of water, will make every effort and will strive to reverse the greenhouse effect, to prevent contamination of the aquifer and to gain access to water in the future, fairly, all people on the planet.
Statement: “Born in Athens in 1985 and studied at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Education, Kindergarten Teacher. My love for the kids, my desire to convey to them knowledge, to approach their soul and to help to build themselves a piece of themselves, were the key factors in my choice, which became a life goal.
Now that my goal and my dream realized, I feel very lucky. But I feel more lucky that I work in the Interactive European school (D.E.S.) of Varkiza.
The Interactive European school is a school different from the rest. Based on a different temperament and personality of each child and the structure of the educational program based on Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences, who argues that not all people have the same interests, or skills, or learn in the same way, but perceive the world with at least seven different and equally important ways / intelligences.
Eventually, through the Interactive European school every year come even closer to the unique world of children, know their specific talents and unique feelings. And apart from these through the Interactive European school I came even closer to my own self.
It is true that I couldn’t do another profession, and as the years pass my little students confirm with their love and I thank them very much”
The Interactive European School is based on the different temperament and personality of each child and the structure of the educational program based on Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences, who argues that not all people have the same interests, or skills, or learn in the same way, but perceive the world with at least seven different and equally important ways/ intelligences.
“Message in a Bottle” by Alexander Schellow, Valya Stergioti & MELD – at Karla lake
Phase 1 (Until May 22nd)
Message in a Bottle aims to gather the voices of teenagers living near Karla Lake who will be given the opportunity to tell “their story”, “refilling” the lake with their memories, thoughts and dreams.
Alexander Schellow (Visual Artist) and Valya Stergioti (Environmental Interpreter) will act as a catalyst between the teenagers and the Lake. They will design a series of questions to trigger the imagination and inspire the children to tell their stories and their connections with the lake. Schellow will also create a visual infrastructure of the project: based on previous experiences in the frame of NERAKI, which in one aspect will concern visual materials applied in the workshop, and on the other hand will act as the base of an online environment, gradually enlarged and transformed by the accumulating contributions of the children.
The children will be able to reconnect with memories of older members of their families, their own experiences of living near a new/old lake, as well as their views about the lake’s future (and how this relates with their own future). To do so, they will be able to use a multitude of media, including photographs, drawings, moving image, words (written or spoken), etc. The combination of these different mediaswill be their “message” which we will help them to put into a “bottle”.
The first phase of the project is halfway through.
Attendees: Valya Stergioti, Maria (Lake Karla Conservancy Associtiation), Yvonne Senouf, Andreas Νicopolos (MA Architecture, University of Volos) & 2 teachers
Kanalia Lyceum, 2nd Grade
Number of students: 11
In this first meeting the children introduced themselves and we broke the ice. Maria gave an audio-visual introduction of Lake Karla, with scientific and sociological facts. Andreas, a student in architecture at the University of Volos and who is developing a thesis related to Lake Karla, introduced his research, which is based on the fishermen that used to live on the lake and their conditions today.
Valya and Alexander then presented artworks related to water and engaged the children in the works challenging their imagination and creativity. The reactions of the children were eclectic and their curiosity was triggered. We formed three groups for logistic reasons, assembling the kids coming from the same village.
Valya and Alexander prepared a series of inspirational themes to guide the students in their quest* and each group was to choose the direction they wanted to take.
* Lake Karla: a newborn, or not? Fishermen, The renaissance of the lake, Old people in my village, My village, My family, The view of the lake from my house, Visitors of Karla, Politics and Karla, Mosquitos: the enemy? Sunday mornings near Karla, Springtime near Karla, Things I like at the lake, What is forgotten about the lake, Things to forget about the lake, Lies about the lake, If Karla could talk, Things
During the second meeting, Valya and Alexander prepared a series of games in order to “unlock” the students’ imagination and help them become more creative. Furthermore, two of the students showed some work (photographs) they had already prepared for the project, and Alexander discussed with them about how these pictures could become part of the groups’ final project.
The third meeting took place at Lake Karla. Students had a chance to walk on the shore of the lake, taking pictures and videos. Furthermore, thanks to the help of two “experts” (Giorgos, an ornithologist and Dimitris, a forester) students learned more about the fauna and flora of this area, getting answers to questions that were naturally formed just by watching the surrounding area.
This meeting was conducted freely, without a pre-prepared outline, so that the participants could follow their will and instinct in order to capture their own view of the Lake Karla.
Phase 2 (Sept 22nd)
Sometime in September, these messages will be released via the Internet to other teenagers from two or three other communities that are experiencing a similar situation (living near a lake that has been drained or near a lake that has been re-generated in some way in recent years) as part of the Greek Node Workshop.
We will access these communities through Waterwheel and MELD’s (Non-Profit Global Art Platform) social networks, as well as educational and conservation agencies during the month of January so the new communities will be ready to react to the “messages in a bottle”.
Phase 3 (Water Day)
Teenagers respond to our message. They create a message of their own to send back to the Greek students that either talks about their own experiences per se or uses the Greek message to find similarities (and contrasts) between the two cases.
All messages will be uploaded to the waterwheel platform and will be accessible for everyone to see.
visitors will never know about the lake, Karla in 10 years, My village in 10 years, My view of Karla, Memories of my mother’s childhood near the lake, My memory of Karla, If I asked my grandparents to talk about the lake they would…, If I asked my children to talk about the lake they would…, If you asked me to talk about the lake I would…
“World Water Museum” installation by keti Haliori – at Technohoros gallery
The “World Water Museum” installation is an interdisciplinary and activist project that focuses to alert people on the challenges of clear, potable water on the planet. It approaches surrealistically the vast environmental problem, presenting water as “museum item”.
The installation is constructed gradually through the participations of the volunteers who send samples from rivers and lakes. The samples are chemically analysed, therefore to each one a special identity is assigned and then are safely kept in laboratory conical glass vials. A portion of 100 ml of each sample is mixed with portions of all the others, in a separate vessel, to symbolically increase the “Earth’s water” level.
The installation will be on a continuous evolution as long as new samples from rivers and lakes are delivered
“Ask the flask” installation by keti Haliori – at Technohoros gallery
“Ask the flask” was an online workshop that has started in October 2013 and completed in January 2014. The project was carried out with students from countries facing water scarcity, as well as from countries with an abundance of water. Participants are from Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Greece (5), Iraq, Kenya (2), United Kingdom (2).
The students grouped according to their educational level: primary schools, high schools and university undergraduates. Every group from a region with water scarcity was working with a group from a region with abundance of water. They communicated with each other and exchanged views on their relationship with water in everyday life. How scarcity or abundance of water shape their lives, and how young people learn to manage water in such different cases. Communication was taking place via Skype discussion groups. They discussed, exchanged views and experiences, submitted their ideas and propose research methods, materials and ways to develop their artwork.
Eventually, each group created a visual artwork (an installation or a performance) that took place at their school, or university, or any other place accessible to the public (town square, city hall, street, gallery etc). The goal was for every resulting artwork to bear the “stamp” of cooperation between the two groups.
It aimed to foster relationships between the youth of societies abundant in water, on the one hand, and the youth of societies facing water scarcity, on the other. To ask questions and form opinions; it aspires to create a channel between them, so that participants can communicate, gain experience, knowledge, understanding and set common goals. It aimed to make them experience unity and friendship through water.
Statement: “By making art, I express my restless effort to gain knowledge and self-awareness. I explore the limitations of societies, of the “I” (us) and the “others”, the invasion of forbidden places, the value of life. On the one hand, I find myself in the field of interdisciplinary approaches and, on the other hand, in the social space. I use digital impressions, semiological and conceptual connections between nature, science and technology, theories and symbolic references, experimental attempts in the field of biotechnology, suggestions for the theoretical repositioning of man in the Animal Kingdom, journey-artworks, with visual art activities and installations”
“Vital Space” by Maria Papanikolaou – at Technohoros gallery
Vital Space is built on the belief in the power of art to change the world. It is a participatory platform for all those who believe that an artistic perspective can help civilise, humanise and, even, rationalise the debate on the current confluence of environmental and economic crises. The platform functions as an open invitation to artists, scientists, activists, theorists, historians etc. to contribute diverse viewpoints from which to look again at the mounting problems regarding Humanity’s relationship with Nature and with itself.
Vital Space aspires to create a deeper awareness about the most pressing issues of our time and to discern how art can be used to reach and influence a wider audience across the world. Acting as a cross-media art platform on which to pose questions concerning globalization and the plight of the environment, Vital Space creates a dialogue regarding the most vital issues of our time and how these can be addressed and expressed through art. It revolves around two main axes: (a) the creation and production of visual art works, and (b) the initiation of research programs, conferences, publications and the formation of educational and media products designed to reach and influence a wide and diverse audience.
Vital Space is a non-profit organization founded in 2010 by artist Danae Stratou and economist Yanis Varoufakis.
Statement: Inspired by her first degree in law and by practicing law herself, Maria Papanikolaou has attempted during the past 10 years to redefine the contemporary art world’s positioning and critical approach on the dubious topic of imprisonment. She uses a variety of art media in order to redefine the concept and visual representation of gaol. Her installations revolve around cases of human rights violations. She uses stories she heard from prisoners and afterwards she creates sculptures based on fictional jailbreak stories.
In history of Art, artists that handle with similar issues have mostly attempted to point out the abyss of prison and the cruelty of enclosure (Piranesi, Goya, etc.). On the contrary Maria has chosen to express herself through forms that point out to the human will for life and freedom. Therefore, she prefers not to use shocking images that focus on the misery of the prisoner and the inhuman conditions of detention, although she has access to such data. This is why she has chosen to conceptualize the act of escaping, using it as a tool through which she attempts to sketch out the prisoner’s portrait: Not as the tormented other, but as the acting self. She creates storytelling images of successful escape attempts. Through these stories the prisoner is not presented as a helpless victim, but as an active subject with creative imagination. In the images produced at her work she experiments on the representation of prison as a desolate place where the absence of the human element is dominant, as a result of the prisoners’ escape.
In this context she works together with Danae Stratou as a research & management assistant at Vital Space, an Art Platform in Athens, that focuses on the creation of a dialogue regarding the most vital issues of our time and how these can be addressed and expressed through art. In addition she prepares the research and photo documentation for the articles Vital Space publishes in Witte de With Review.
“Amorgos Water Oracle” by Zoe Nikitaki – at Technohoros gallery
From one corner of this planet to the other, the worship of the water plays a significant role, its magic and prophetic dimension exists especially in ancient Greece. The water divination was one of the most important of the prophetic arts and practices of a great mystical power.
Here is the presentation of a rare space, a sacred open gate of deep communication between the human and the divine powers. The Water Oracle of Apollo operated by the supervision of the Hierophant in the antiquity.
In Amorgos, a Greek island in Cyclades complex, the Water Oracle had been operating during the Christian period of time as well. The holy water was intimately connected with the religious tradition of the inhabitants of the island, a tradition with roots that go back to the dawn of time and to the fundamental need of the human to be reconnected to the inner Source, to the core of his existence, to his Soul. They used to take information and advice from the holy water every time they needed to make some important decisions in life, connected to a new job, a marriage, a long journey, an important deal, a new beginning in life.
In the area there are a lot of sources and still exist the ruins of an old watermill. The old shepherds tell that they used to see a lot of times fairies of the waters dancing before the dawn circular dances in areas where there were springs and streams.
Statement: “I focus on the healing power and operation of the storytelling and the art generally and I think that the storytelling is an act of power transmission, a process of initiation for the journey of the soul and the evolution of the consciousness. I tell, write and illustrate stories for children and for adults who keep on dreaming and want to reconnect with the inner child. I remember me painting since I learned to stand on my feet in whatever surface I found in front of me, as the painting served like a second nature to me and like a particularly vital need as well. The need for creation and expression of a parallel inner reality remains unquenchable. I paint what arises automatically on the material available to me every moment; everything comes from my connection to the inner Source, from where gush all the dreams, all the wishes, all the prayers.
Painting and storytelling for me is a way of prayer and meditation. And perhaps the art is a prayer and a way of transformation of the consciousness and the external reality as well. There is no separation between the prayer and any true creation, where the source is the same.
They can only be tied in and merging one into the other, guiding by the same internal truth.
I love painting as I love storytelling too. It’s like speaking with pictures instead of words. In both cases I feel that somehow I travel in the path of a vision and an inner dream. Besides, all of us are creatures made not only by the material, but by the astral substance, the material of the stars, the dreams of the angels, the divine substance and much more. It is our fate to dream and maybe because of the fact that the dreams are translated through words and images, they become and paintings and stories that nourish our souls.
The artist I think nowadays more than ever, has to be a fighter of the Light, a guardian of dreams, and one dispatcher of the Impossible that fulfills his/her mission always beneath the waves… The truly creative artist is a visionary and intuitive who brings through images and representations of what lies ahead and beyond the ordinary rung of humanity – a pioneer – to more and more people. The water plays a role in my art as the water speaks, has a memory and caries a sacred knowledge and a healing power since the dawn of the Time. It was my honor and joy to participate in the Greek node of the Water Wheel Net Symposium represented by the artist Keti Haliori, the founder and creator of the World Water Museum. As artists we have the duty to service this planet and to work through our vision and creation to transform the external reality and to bring beauty, harmony and awake of the consciousness.”
Lea Petrou: http://www.leapetrou.info
International School of Piraeus: http://www.isp.edu.gr/
Interactive European School: http://www.deschool.eu
Alexander Schellow: http://indexfilm.de/en/profile/personen/
MELD: http://meld.cc http://blog.meld.cc
World Water Museum installation: http://www.worldwatermuseum.com/
Keti Haliori: http://keti-haliori.com/
VITAL SPACE: http://vitalspace.org
Zoe Nikitaki: https://www.facebook.com/zoe.nikitaki
Technohoros art gallery: http://www.technohoros.org/