Questions to consider
Take HighWaterLine to the Streets Mark the line in your community
“I wound my way through the forest of skyscrapers, marking chalk lines past construction sites and lines of hungry business people waiting in line for their lunch. While I got a few curious glances, most people were rushing to or from their lunch break. A few security guards gave some harsh words – not to me but to the people documenting – warnings about photographing the buildings. About halfway through and still no people interested in talking about what I am doing (what a contrast from the Brooklyn neighborhoods!)” Eve Mosher, 7/30/2007
ACTIONS • Mark the line with a medium that is appropriate for your budget, your community, and your artistic expression • Talk with the public about why you are making the line • Share printed information with the public about C02 levels and adaptation • Document your process
Eve’s STORY Your HighWaterLine project can happen in many different ways depending on who is available to assist, and the route you’ve mapped. In 2007, there were many days of marking the line that were done solo by the artist. This is completely possible, although, Eve suggests it is good to have three people - one to manage the materials that you will need to mark the line with; another to document the project with photographs and video; and another person to perform the line, engaging the public in conversations and hand out takeaways.
which means that you start where the person you are talking to is at, find out what they already know about climate change and then build from there. Let the public ask you what you are doing!
NOTE: Eve Mosher used a Socratic approach to having conversations with the public. This means that she asked questions of the public she encountered while drawing the line, refraining from imposing her own views or knowledge on them. There is also the Constructivist approach
WATCH THE VIDEO: “The Handwriting on the Road” where Eve Mosher talks about some of the intricacies of navigating the public sphere while drawing the HighWaterLine. nytimes.com/2007/06/16/arts/design/16chal. html?_r=0
CONSIDER: It is important to research laws regarding performing the line in public space. You could need to apply for a city permit especially to perform the line through a city park. It is fairly safe to say that if you are not intending to cause harm to public property or obstruct the flow of traffic, this activity is legal.
How will you create a HighWaterLine and document the process?
What kind of encounters did you have with people and what did you learn from them?
What was the experience of being in public marking the line like?
What do the communities look like along the line?
ACTION STEPS 1. Select a timeline that you will mark sea level rise projections in your area for either 2020, 2050, 2100, or mark the projected flood line, which could be much higher. Whichever line offers the most visual significance and is the most accessible in terms of comprehension for your community without being overly dramatic will obviously encourage informed discussions on how climate change will play out in our lives. 2. Make handouts with information on how to reduce C02 levels and strategies for adaptation. Use the artists’ example takeaways she used in 2007 with updated source materials. highwaterline.org/nyc/takeaction.html 3. Document participants performing the line on film and photography. Ensure you have enough batteries, storage space and proper tools before you begin. Get permission to use the public’s representation in a final documentary with standard release forms. (tag any media: #highwaterline) 4. Mark your HighWaterLine. Have handouts and materials available for anyone that may approach and make sure you’re well versed in a response to the question you’ll be asked the most: “What are you doing?” Continue to chalk your line, using your mapped route, and other way finding tools. Make sure to take occasional breaks to eat and rest. 5. Reflect on your process after you’ve completed the line, take time to congratulate the participants. If time allows, ask the documentarian to capture reactions of participants while the experience is still fresh in everyone’s mind.
Published on Jul 4, 2014
ecoartspace presents Eve Mosher's HighWaterLine ACTION GUIDE, the first in a series of ten art and ecology learning guides presenting replic...