WetLand 2014 and ongoing
WetLand partnered with the University of Pennsylvania's Program in the Environmental Humanities and Bartram's Garden through the Spring of 2017. WetLand was docked on the banks of the Schuylkill River at Bartram's Garden and was used as a space for classes, residencies, and public programming.
About PPEH: PPEH is led by Professor Bethany Wiggin. It aims to generate knowledge appropriate for this time, which many natural scientists call the Anthropocene, the Age of the Human. Our era of rapid climate change calls for new forms of knowledge creation bridging the sciences and the humanities with the natural world.
About Bartram's Garden: Bartram's Garden is the oldest surviving botanical garden in North America, covering 46 acres and includes an historic botanical garden and arboretum (8 acres, established circa 1728). The garden is near the intersection of 54th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard, in Philadelphia.
Art is integral to imagining new worlds. A floating sculpture, WetLand resembles a partially submerged building that integrates nature with the built environment. The interior contains a living space, workspace, and performance space. WetLand’s overall ecosystem includes rainwater collection and purification, greywater filtration, dry compost systems, outdoor vegetable gardens, indoor hydroponic gardens, and floating gardens circling the perimeter. Attention to the social and environmental impacts involved in material production, distribution, use, and disposal are important to the formation of WetLand, which was built entirely from the urban waste stream.
WetLand augments local community movements by drawing a broad range of people with different backgrounds to the space, and by organizing collaborations. WetLand stresses how important it is for more people to be involved in caring for our common home and to re-address water as a commons by engaging with students who steward the space, collect data relating to energy use and production, and test and maintain the project’s water systems. The WetLand sculpture is an argument for a thriving local urban environment.