WATER CHURCH IS A REPLICABLE COMMUNITY SCULPTURE
IT IS A INTERSPECIES PUBLIC BATHING FACILITY
WHERE WATER IS RESTORED
THROUGH GENTLE ENGAGEMENT
WATER CHURCH IS FOR
water church is a sacred space that regenerates and restores water as it is enjoyed and engaged. It is a climate customizable sculpture complex, representing the combined knowledge of centuries of transnational indigenous traditions and technologies. Interweaving local naturally available materials, without electricity or mined metals, these rainwater catchment baths engage sustainable science and living ethnobotanicals to engender interspecies kinship and encourage decolonized relation building and reciprocal systems of water stewardship and celebration.
water churches are medicine for the complex intersectional challenges we face in climate crisis and environmental justice.
they embarks on culture change in the strategy tradition of pleasure activism, inviting us into cultures of care, stewardship, body normativity, reciprocal health, common space and resource sharing.
they practice interdependence and kinship and explores microbiological politics, ethnobotanical relationships, and interspecies spaces.
they transforms our expectations of our architecture to challenge monoculturalism, extractivism, and colonized relationships with the elements, and offers instead regenerative construction, biomimicry, and indigenous technology.
Natural building is our oldest and longest running modality of articulating space, but it’s typically absent from local building codes or regulated out of accessibility. Ancestral trades and traditions in adobe and masonry have fewer practicers year after year. Ancient systems of irrigation and power are forgotten as even remote parcels are assimilated into state run grids and privatized parceling. Community practices of group bathing dwindle, gardens are fences, houses become hermetic, and we grow complacent in the single species monoculture of the urban environment. Locked away in lonely boxes, individualizing our lives and creating resource redundancies for services and spaces that could be shared. In the name of germs, safety, liability, earthquake proofing and efficiency, colonizer cosmologies have shaped and stifled our architectonics, asserting that single species environments are acceptable, even preferential and that water is simply a vehicle for waste, not a sacred sibling we need steward if we plan to survive the century. We turn it on and off, disconnected from its source or destination, we wash our hands and our clothes and paintbrushes and our floors with it, we defecate into it, let it roll through oiled streets and force it through aging metallic pipes, so it can exist in convenient interior spaces where it molds and toxifies, where we chase it with Draino and chlorine to scour it’s protests and blockages and toxifications. we have water networks that are harmful to water. And as humans interact with it, we make our water quality worse. We have reached a critical point in which even our rainwater has become toxic.
research, fieldwork and soil studio experimentation
interviews, studio photography, book design and production
documentation photography, sculpture, video and installation
iteration by the artist, made available to community
DEVELOPMENT, RESEARCH + TECHNICAL TESTING
Tek testing, implementation of small scale versions, planting botanicals, exploring materials, interviewing experts, building alongside local practitioners, collecting labs on environmental factors as they evolve under varied conditions, all while photographically documenting the sculptural artifacts and visual experiences that evolve in this research practice
water church is a modular compilation of ancestral technologies, layered and aligned to filter, host, clean, heal, feed and grow. its work is ecosystem balance, so the practice anchors in radical listening: archival research and interviews with masters and practitioners, alongside construction of scaled tek experiments and chemical observation of the water bodies they sustain and process. this fieldwork seeks to name the ratios and relationships at which the flowing or collected body of water achieves mineral abundance, toxicity filtration, and biodiversity attraction. this work is an intimate exploration of the non-human communities that feed on, live in, benefit from, and rely on the water. the artist approaches the community space first from a habitat design perspective, cultivating dream houses for aquatic botanicals, pollinators, fish and microbes, supporting them to balance their elemental container. like a healthy forest offers clean air, a balanced body offers clean water.