No Swimming (August-September 2011)
Katherine Ball lived on Indy Island from Friday, August 12 to Sunday, September 25, 2011. Her six-week-long residency, titled No Swimming, centered around Ball’s ecological interventions with the 100 Acres lake. Before starting her residency, Ball constructed mycofilters from hemp, wood chips, and mushroom mycelium, which were placed in the lake in an attempt to lower E.coli levels in the water over time. Ball tested the lake water frequently and documented her findings on her blog.
Park visitors were given the opportunity to interact with Ball and view her initiatives more closely through visits to Indy Island. Ball also organized weekly activities for the community, including workshops, yoga sessions, and bike excursions along White River.
Ball’s artistic practice is founded on a hands-on approach to environmental activism and social engagement. In 2010, she filmed a documentary (to be released this winter) about small-scale, yet effective, solutions to climate change as she bicycled with a small group from Oregon to Washington, D.C., where they met with legislators and shared their findings. Afterward, Ball traveled via train and plane to Cancun, Mexico, to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference. From 2009–10 Ball co-directed SEA Change Gallery in Portland, Oregon, which developed exhibitions and activities to encourage social and environmental equality. She is currently enrolled in Portland State University’s Art + Social Practice MFA program and recently participated in an exchange at the School of Walls and Space in Copenhagen.