Journey to the Aquifer

Alice Wan, Merel van Bochove, Anton Ripon

In “Journey to the Aquifer”, we focus on the Dutch region of Brabant, its local sources of freshwater, the agents involved in its distribution, and its diverse physical production – soils, rhythms, infrastructures, and landscapes –. Our mixed research, which included field experimentation on local groundwater aquifers, uncovered an opaque and centralised infrastructure with questionable responsiveness to the impending water shortage. This raises concerns about the sustainability of groundwater extraction.

The loss of trust triggered by these findings might inspire a more self-sufficient survival instinct, and influence you to go and look for freshwater yourself…

But even if you do follow this instinct – for how long? How deep? How much? How intense and desperate is the reaction to THIRST?

“Journey to the Aquifer” narrates how low one can stoop in search for solutions to the water shortage and go as far as extracting their own groundwater. The story emphasises the protagonist’s privilege and the greed revealed by his actions. In this non-fictional context, all the tools we designed for water extraction become vessels for our research – wrapped in a luxuriously branded aesthetic, they critically address the “off-the-grid” community and, together with the film, they create an installation where visitors are invited to reflect and position themselves towards the upcoming water crisis.

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