single channel video projection, 4 channel spatialized audio
Swallow was created for Living River Project: Art, Water and Possible Worlds, an exhibition considering water issues in the Windsor-Detroit corridor. I approached the Detroit River from the perspective of remediation, specifically the City of Windsor Riverfront Sewer Basin and the Tree Swallow Monitoring Program carried out by Detroit River Canadian Clean-up with Environment and Climate Change Canada. I am interested in remediation because it speaks of past mistakes but also of courage. (I prefer this frame to “hope”.) I also approached the river through governance and other documents concerning the International Boundary, dredging history, a Government of Canada Indian Land Claims document regarding the Walpole Island First Nation Boblo Island Inquiry and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement – such documents are full of stories of how we got to where we are.
The video begins with pouring and drinking tap water then proceeds in sections moving downstream from downtown Windsor, to LaSalle and one of the Detroit River Tree Swallow Monitoring sites, to Amherstburg Canadian Coast Guard Base. Much of the video was shot while walking. The audio moves among 4 speakers and includes the above-mentioned read documents, environmental sound and a short poetic text. Real time and movement run through this work and my human body is always close by as is the viewer’s in seeing and listening. We are entangled with the water within and without us.
Liver River Project: Art, Water and Possible Worlds. Co-curators Patrick Mahon and Stuart Reid. Art Gallery of Windsor. October 20, 2018 – January 20, 2019.
Ontario Arts Council
Claire Sanders, Remedial Action Plan Coordinator, Detroit River Canadian Clean-up
Glenn Barrett, Wildlife Toxicology Technician, Science and Technology Branch, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Paul Driver, XC236558, Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/236558
International Boundary Commission, Natural Resources Canada
Map of Area 1 Lower Livingstone Channel, Detroit River is reproduced with the permission of Canadian Hydrographic Service
Installation photo at by Patrick Mahon. All others are Swallow stills.