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Foggy pursuit of ethical response-ability : art and science of collecting water from fog

Abstract : Water scarcity has become one of the world's most pressing issues, one that particularly affects arid regions, where there is little or no precipitation and groundwater is not available or is polluted. My practice-based research investigates an alternative means of collecting water from fog arising from imaginative solutions brought forward by art and science collaboration. The collaboration challenged the standard method of collecting water from fog with grid mesh nets and proposed an alternative method of harvesting fog water with a net of parallel vertical fibres. This new idea came from an image of a forest of fibres that launched technical research on a new substrate (a net of parallel fibre), controlled production of artificial fog on a large scale and the proposition of novel aerodynamic structural forms.My art-based research expanded on the scientific question of efficiency through the production of multi-sensory installations that aim at bringing forward a more acute awareness of the intricate co-existence we share and must sustain with water, not as a passive object of investigation, but rather a participant in meaning co-creation. In adopting posthumanist and new materialist philosophical stances of agential realism, my art has concentrated on the creation of a platform of encounter and exchange, inviting the public to enact what feminist theorist Karen Barad calls an “ethical response-ability” (the ability to respond to a call for participation, i.e., ethical behaviour) by engaging with artworks’ space of materiality, physicality and meaning. This interactive, ethically responsive approach has been extended to the writing process through the use of different forms of narration (possibly atypical for a thesis), to invite readers to become participants in meaning co-creation.The art and science collaboration described in the current thesis has successfully demonstrated the power of imagination and participation that created new relationships and novel solutions. However, to deal with complex problems such as water scarcity, we need to extend the invitation to participate beyond artists, scientists, and viewer/participants to include the communities for which the research is intended, thereby expanding the circle of inclusion and closing the gap between what we know, what we sense and feel, and what we do.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 2:50:08 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - 6:09:51 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, March 16, 2022 - 7:07:35 PM


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  • HAL Id : tel-03481735, version 1



Anna Emilia Rewakowicz. Foggy pursuit of ethical response-ability : art and science of collecting water from fog. Art and art history. Institut Polytechnique de Paris, 2021. English. ⟨NNT : 2021IPPAX065⟩. ⟨tel-03481735⟩



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