Museum of Water - Amy Sharrocks
Audio Interactives and Sound Design
Artsadmin / LIFT
Somerset House, June 2014
59 Productions has created the sound design and two interactive sound pieces for the Museum of Water, installed in the vaults of Somerset House.
The museum is a collection of publicly donated water and accompanying stories, many of which have been recorded as spoken interviews. 59's approach was to create ways of hearing these sound files through simple interactions, such as pouring water from a jug, or asking the user to place their hand into a bowl of water, giving the opportunity to take control of the story, and create a natural soundscape of water alongside the pre-recorded audio files.
Accumulating over two years in different sites worldwide, Museum of Water is an invitation to ponder our precious liquid and how we use it. In a time of relative plenty in Britain, we are gathering a collection of water for future generations to consider. Clean water is more and more difficult to access across the world: will people look back at our current profligacy with horror and amazement... will the notions of fountains, swimming pools and baths become as archaic as the Broad St Pump now seems? We need to hold on to it, consider what is precious about it and how we are using it now in order to explore how we might save it for the future.
Everyday we choose water metaphors to define our thinking, yet in reality we have become used to defending against it. We chlorinate it and pipe it, soothed by our certainty that it will pour from our tap when we need it. Perhaps the 2013 floods have changed our attitudes to water? Certainly it is time to re-examine our connection, and develop a new relationship.
Museum of Water has over 300 bottles in the collection, ranging from water from a holy river in India, to a burst London water main, ice from a Sussex field, a melted snowman, 20-year-old evaporated snow from Maine, condensation from a Falmouth window, Hackney rainwater, a new born baby’s bath water, Norwegian spit, three types of wee, two different breaths and water from a bedside table said to be infused with dreams.