Wastewater Runoff Pipe


This project from 2009 sporadically documents a water treatment facility’s runoff pipe as it empties treated wastewater into a local stream near Woodstock, NY. Using long time frames across the seasons, I observe and document the contrast between the organic natural processes of growth and decay with the strict geometric forms of technological infrastructure. Issues of permanence versus entropy, obsolescence, and the impulse to control and sanitize are contrasted with the regenerative power and cyclical structure of nature. Experiencing the sewer drainage pipe within the context of a landscape becomes a metaphor for the individual’s relationship with the natural world. The use of a symmetrical and circular composition evokes symbolic sacred art from various cultures and time periods, inducing a meditative state to promote metaphysical contemplation about the viewer’s own relationship to time, nature and mortality.

The project exists as a series of still images and a continuous loop video lasting 2 1/2 minutes.  The video is typically projected directly onto the floor from above, but has also been exhibited as a projection onto a bathroom sink in 2011 at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz, NY as seen below:

 

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