Project: SCARRING OUR WATER
A community-engaged eco-art project by Triada Samaras and Susan Handler with CG CORD/Carroll Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development co-founded by Triada Samaras
The history of the East River is complicated and solutions for the problems the river faces today are not easy. Yet solutions must be found, and at the basis of this task is interdisciplinary creative thought and knowledge. Our team proposal for the guerilla-style installation component of Pallet City is the ECO artwork, Scarring Our Water. In our research it is clear that the natural resources and beauty of this waterway has attracted human life for thousands of years. The deterioration began 300 years ago and escalated over the last 100 years. Adding to the deterioration of the East River are the severely polluted waters of the tributary Newtown Creek and the man made Gowanus Canal. Documentation of this deterioration can be read in the Army Corp of Engineers sediment quality evaluation reports on this waterway.
Scarring Our Water, based on the cartography of the waterway and surrounding land, looks at the East River, the chemicals in the river, and the potential human health affects. Recycled, industrial three inch diameter bamboo scarred with the burn marks of names of the chemicals in the river and their documented health affects, combine with mixed media on canvas to create a metaphor for the river bed of subtle pollution. The hope for the East River is based on educating the public on the realities of the situation and the possibilities of healing the East River can found in the field of environmental science and community partnerships. The location where the hope can begin is the small, round greenish region, Governors Island.
c. 2010/2012 Triada Samaras and Susan Handler with Carroll Gardens
c. Triada Samaras and Susan Handler, 2010, Scarring Our Water, Mixed Media on Canvas
Selected Chemicals in the Gowanus Canal and Bay:
Restoration Project-Sediment Quality from the Army Corps of Engineers Evaluation Report: Acenaphthene; Arsenic; Benzo(1)anthracene; Bibenzofuran; Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phtalate; Chlorophyll; Chrysene; Coal tar wastes; 1-Dichloroethane; Florene; Heavy metals; Hydroxyl radicals; Inorganic nutrents N03, P04; Naphthalene; 2 Methylnapthalene; PCBs; Pesticides; Phenanthrene; Polychlorinated bipenyls; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; Pyrene; Trace elements Ag, Cc, Cd, Pb; Volatile organic contaminants
EPA/Environmental Protection Agency http://epa.gov/region2/superfund/npl/gowanus/
US Army Corps Engineers http://www.nan.usace.army.mil/harbor/gowanus.htm
Selected Human Health Effects of the Above Chemicals:
Anemia; Cancers; Changes in the blood and liver; Confusion; Coma; Convulsions; Damage to the developing fetus; Damage to the reproductive organs; Death; Depression; Dizziness; Drowsiness; Fatigue; Gastrointestinal discomfort; Headaches; Heart disease; Irritation of the nose and lungs; Irritation of the stomach; Kidney disease; Leukemia; Liver damage; Rapid heart rate; Sleepiness; Thyroid cancer; Tremors; Unconsciousness; Vomiting
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry www.atsdr.cdc.gov
Below is a photo montage of Scarring Our Water by Triada Samaras and Susan Handler with Carroll Gardens CORD/Coalition for Respectful Development. Scarring Our Water was first exhibited on Governors Island, New York as part of the Governors Island Utopia Exhibition 2010, and later featured at the Goddard College Winter Art Crawl 2011, in the Interdisciplinary Arts MFA Program.
Scarring Our Water