Alexandra Crouwers - Nereda 2

While taking a tour on the site, I was struck by the absence of water: the plant processes immense amounts of wastewater, but most of it flows underground, out of sight and unheard, through tubes and pipes.

It only resurfaces in huge reservoirs, high above ground. There, the silence of the plant’s operations was disturbed by the noise of an overflow process: with amazing force excess water from the basin is dumped into a large metal pipe, causing the water to gurgle, gasp, and roar like a caged animal.

My practice is one that explores many types of digital media, including audio, as vessels for new mythologies. To me, it sounded as if the water attempted to speak to us, here, through this man-made mouthpiece. In this concrete confinement, the water – as fluid and agile as it may be – formed a sort of entity: a hybrid creature. It kept lingering in my mind.

In another project, I turned bark beetle traces into audio, resulting in an eerie lament. Here, I am using another method: through a combination of AI filters and digital animation, I attempt to provide a presence to the hypothetical wastewater treatment plant’s spirit, so we may experience it more clearly. I am not translating the audio into human language; I can not speak for water. However, I can show that if we are mindful of our surroundings, we recognize how non-human entities all are somehow, in their own ways, speaking – perhaps not to us, but to themselves, or to each other.