Water Path

As part of ArtScience curriculum, an artistic exchange was organized between ArtScience Interfaculty and the Intermedia faculty at Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts (Akademia Sztuk Pięknych im. Jana Matejki w Krakowie) in Krakow, Poland. During the two week exchange, a guided urban tour through the center of krakow, led by one of the professor of urban design caught my attention. A tributary of the main river used to run through the city area just outside the city gate, used for irrigation, the tributary allowed much faster growth of the city of krakow, despite its greater distance from the river. The abundant agricultural good provided by the well irrigated region of Casmirys thanks to the tributary provided the city with food and water transportation. Though, at the beginning of 20th century, the tributary was filled and turned into roads and thus making the once porous connection between two parts of the city more tightly linked together, marked the transition of krakow from agricultural economy to industrial economy.

city map from 1493, river cuts through the city, casmirys and cracovia were connected via bridges.
city map from 1828, the river and its tributary is still visible
city map of 1908, the industrialized krakow said goodbye to the tributary that irrigated the lands in the past

“Before the tributary was filled, there were many rivers running through the city of krakow, there were less cars, some of the houses were from the time when the road in front of their house used to be a river. ” Said a senior citizen passing by the boulevard.

I encountered several sites in the city that were charged with a scent of the past, sitting in between the transition to a new future and a resistance to change, it’s as if the time comes to a halt, while everyone is still deciding whether they want to throw away their old photo albums. They are silently telling a story of change, nourishment and decay.

At the end of the two week exchange, I made a project titled Water Path, an installation using the process of photographic film developing.

In the dark, only lit by a darkroom red lamp, photo developer slowly drips onto a photo paper with the image printed on by light, when the drips of developer touches the paper, the image starts to emerge. After a few seconds, the image will over develop since no stopper was there to stop the developing process, eventually the on paper where developer was dripped on will turn black, leaving the paper with black trials running through, like river running through the land.

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