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The Waterpod: a Floating Eco-Habitat
Waterworld this is not; Waterpod is the real deal! Concieved by artists Mary Mattingly and Mira Hunter, the Waterpod is a visionary, floating habitat set to launch—certainly not coincinentally—on May 1st (a.k.a., International Workers’ Day, Labour Day and millions of other workers’ protests around the world). A collaboration between an eclectic group of artists, curators and educators, Waterpod is an experimental, self-sustaining community or as the organizers say, “a floating, sculptural, eco-habitat designed for the rising tides.”
While it may not seem like it at first, the Waterpod is actually a pretty radical idea. Why? Bear with me a moment. Though cited as the primary cause of most of the environmental challenges that we face, population growth gets surprisingly little press. Solutions are few and far between and those that make the headlines trade in unthinkable currency: draconian human rights violations, predictions of Malthusian catastrophe or worse, a kind of perilous, technological optimism. The Waterpod however, turns the debate on its head by suggesting that we have close to seventy percent more livable space than we thought: the ocean!
Beginning on May Day, 2009, Waterpod will travel down the Newtown Creek between Brooklyn and Queens, down the East River to the waters of New York Harbor, docking at several Manhattan piers on the Hudson before “continuing onward.”
Designed to test the feasibility of a fully self-sustaining, floating community, Waterpod is a triple-domed island fashioned from reclaimed wood, metal and plastic and affixed to an eighty by twenty-five-foot surplus barge. Organizers say the primary power sources will be passive and active solar systems combined with a wind turbine which together will power all on-board systems including “rotating art installations and a permanent projector illuminating the Waterpod dome each night.”
Waterpod organizers say it will”… showcase the critical importance of the environment and art, serving as a model for new living, d.i.y. technologies, art, and dialogue. It illustrates positive interactions between communities: private and corporate; artistic and social; aquatic and terrestrial while exploring the cultural richness of New York’s five boroughs and beyond.”
We are thrilled for the whole Waterpod team and are looking forward to the launch. See you there!
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