Public Water Purification Island
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Here's an art installation from Synchronicity, an architecture/arts festival in Warsaw, Poland. Conceived by Jakub Szczęsny as a member of the design collective Centrala, it consists of a floating island fitted with exercise machines. When the machines are being used, water gets pumped from the polluted Vistula River to a filtration device located overhead at the center of the platform. The water is intended to be potable at the end of its purification cycle, ready for use by thirsty festivalgoers.
According to Szczęsny: “The whole installation is supposed to perform a role of a propaganda tool changing the consciousness of Warsawers by showing the efficiency of human action in the process of purifying the waters of their river. What’s meaningful is the fact that many Poles, even after twenty years of liberalization, still don’t believe in their own potential as individuals or members of communities, in positively changing their environment.”
Could Szczęsny also be presenting us an alternative to the much maligned bottled water? One could set up a stringed necklace of these water islands on a river, say, the Thames, or along a waterfront, say, Chicago's Lakefront, besides trails frequented by joggers, bikers and marathoners in training who, as a communal activity (a civic responsibility, in fact), keep the tanks full for use by themselves and the marginally active.
The Hydrological Playground