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Flow: Can you See the River?

Our guest blogger today is Dori Thayer, an intern in the Public Affairs department.

Mary Miss has decidedly sparked many Indianapolis residents’ curiosities with the installation with her newest citywide project, FLOW: Can You See the River? with her unmistakable markers. Miss’s project hopes to make the local community aware of the White River’s functions, history and most notably, what we can do as area residents to be more aware and environmentally friendly. This project showcases the river, its watershed and how it sustains us. Mary Miss, who hails from New York, has done many projects of this scope that focus on the environment, history and sustainability.

The red fiberglass balls, juxtaposed against nature, serve as markers for points of ecological importance. The balls and mirrors (on certain markers) are complete audio descriptions that are accessible by cell phone, and links to the the project’s very own mobile app, Raindrop.  The descriptions inform and encourage visitors to recognize how their daily lives affect the White River, and conversely, how the White River and its history affects us.  (Coincidental note, the red balls were fabricated locally by artist Brian McCutcheon’s studio.  An exhibition of his work just opened at the IMA entitled, Out of this World featuring himself and his adorable son and muse, Angus).

This project extends beyond the markers with talks from Mary Miss herself and other local environmental groups. Through these collaborations, this exhibition moves beyond the museum for a truly citywide effect.

This project came upon me, an intern, in a very ambiguous form and in bits and pieces at the beginning of the summer –I did not know how these complex pieces would fall together.  Very quickly did my small part in the project become clearer as the spreadsheets and countless Word documents that I stored on my desktop had a course of action. The Mary Miss team had detailed the exact latitude and longitude of each of their markers.  Through the course of a few weeks, I input each individual marker into FLOW’s website, learning a lot a lot about a city I had recently become a new resident of. The end result is a map of Indianapolis covered in these red dots, these ecological points of importance. You may find one very close to your home or your workplace.

Come and mark the opening of Indianapolis’ very own ecological scavenger hunt (in a way) by participating in the Flow: Can You See the River? festival beginning today, along with the launch of the interactive map (and be sure to visit the website!).

Come to the IMA this evening for a talk by Mary Miss at 7pm in celebration of the opening. Join us earlier at 6pm for a reception in the lobby.

Filed under: Art, Art and Nature Park, Contemporary, Local

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