DIY Flood 

DIY Flood challenges the modernist conception of the control of nature by humans and its corollary, neoliberal individualism. Composed of a series of installations that flood domestic objects, DIY Flood “brings home” the existential crisis brought about by the environmental mess that our political and industry leaders have brought upon us. 

 

The installations in this project highlight the materialities of water and its physical, visual and auditory properties. In three of the four installations developed so far, domestic objects are suspended from the ceiling and integrated into a circuit of tubes and containers in which flows clear water, flooding each of the objects in turn. Each of the installations thus forms a unique ecosystem of domestic materialities in dialogue with water. In suspending domestic landmarks, new aesthetic and emotional assemblages are proposed in relation to flooding. 

 

The work is speculative, exploring flooding as a more or less permanent state and focuses on the threat and discomfort that water can bring on when not entirely submitted to our needs and will. Experimenting with a zero waste approach to art making, most materials included in these installations are second hand and are put back into circulation for further use whenever possible.

I acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. 

Canada Arts Council logo

This installation consists of four "training modules" on a quadrant: two cascades, one of sports shoes, a cascade of training jackets, and two water mills made of sports shoes mounted on bike wheels, one vertical and one horizontal. The four elements are linked by the water flowing through them, collected in the inflatable canoe, and by the ivy wrapped around the wooden structure.

 

The way capitalism permeates almost all aspects of sports and training illustrates one of the basic contradictions of living in this age of climate change: we train for individual well being and health, but in a world that we collectively make sick with our consumption. In this installation, cycles of regeneration entangle the desire to train with stories of the great flood. What are we training for? 

Materials: Sports shoes, bicycle wheels, inflatable canoe, fake grass, wood, sports jackets, transportation bands, rope, reusable tie-wraps, pvc tubing, electric pumps, plinth, ivy, water. 

Survival Training Station, 2021

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“For all of Us” is a fountain. A fountain that would like to celebrate exercise, training and team spirit: Mens sana in corpore sano. But the flooding of the shoes and the towel (which bears the namesake slogan) generate a certain discomfort, corresponding to the contradiction between the cult of personal growth and of surpassing oneself, while all bets are off in the roulette game we play with the environment. Mens sana in corpore sano super planeta infirmo

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Materials: Sports shoes, garden planter, gym towel, sports jackets, rope, reusable tie-wraps, pvc tubing, electric pumps, plinth, ivy, water. 

For all of Us, 2021

In DIY Flood, the DIY aesthetic refers to how the individual, as consumer and sovereign of their domain, is called upon as both the cause and solution to climate change and the attendant increased risks of flooding around the world. The burden placed on the individual is however ineffective and unsustainable. As such, among the objects flooded in The Reading Room is a pile of books, classics of neoliberal and libertarian ideology and other books championing individualism over collective action. The water run off from the flooding of these books is redirected towards the trash bin. 

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Materials: Repurposed household objects, monstera plant cuttings, beeswax, vinyl tubing, steel wire and hardware, cotton wire, aquarium pumps, leftover household paint. 

The Reading Room, 2021

“Water Ring” is a wearable body of water. One feels the water forcefully move in response to one’s movements, hears its sounds reverberating within the ring, and sees the reflections of light and the refraction of color on the moving water surface. There is something promethean about moving this body of water over one’s shoulders, forming tsunami-like waves in response to one’s movement, while the heavy rocks of the counterweight spin freely above the ground. 

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Water Ring, 2019

Materials: Plywood, acrylic, steel rods, pulleys, metal wire, rocks, water