Fresh 3.0 at Watershed
The FRESH project attempts to raise awareness about the high cost of bottled water in the USA, a country that has very good quality tap water. The FRESH 3.0 project is a street level intervention that invites visitors to examine computer generated animation composed of fantasy landscapes appropriated from the imagery from bottled water labels while engaged in bottled vs. tap water taste tests.
For the Watershed Project, FRESH 3.0 included a one-night performance on Thursday, July 8th from 6:00pm-9:00pm in the Riverwest neighborhood (on Center Street, in front of Riverwest Film and Video) to bring the bottled vs. tap debate into the street for discussion. Passerby were asked asked to identify the best tasting water sample: tap or bottled. Thankfully, the Riverwest residents mostly selected Milwaukee’s fine tap water as the better tasting sample (Note: the bottled water was either Pure American or Aquafina).
Overall, the exhibition Watershed: Art, Activism, and Community Engagement addresses the shifting ecological and political dimensions of water. This project, organized by Raoul Deal and Nicolas Lampert, uses art as a form of activism to comment on water issues in Milwaukee and the Great Lakes Basin, and their impact on the world at large. It deals with issues such as water shortages, notions of abundance, water privatization, invasive species, industrial pollution, and water as a human right.
There are three components to Watershed: (1) Community Outreach: Fall 2009- Summer 2010: silkscreen workshops with students at the Bruce Guadalupe Middle School and the Walnut Way Conservation Corp in Milwaukee to create images that address water issues. (2) Public Interventions: (July 2010) local and national artists work on art actions along in the shores of Lake Michigan, the banks of Milwaukee’s three main rivers, in the city, and the surrounding suburban and rural areas. (3) Gallery Exhibit: January, 2011, UWM Union Art Gallery, documentation of the first two events, and new installations by Raoul Deal, Nicolas Lampert, and Colleen Ludwig.