Spilling Over: New York 2050

What does it mean to live in a future made on the water?

The waterways are a space, a place, and a resource to explore, reclaim, and protect. That’s the claim that these creative practitioners make: the waterways are a key to the city’s future. For this panel discussion, Nancy Nowacek (whose work is currently on view in Outside/In), Mary Mattingly, Eve Mosher, Marina Zurkow and Maria Ailova will each present an image of the city in 50 years that fuels their current projects on New York City’s waterways.

Life in New York City 2015, as elsewhere, is becoming more extreme. More people are competing for space on its islands and more goods are needed to serve them. We are told to expect more violent weather events, accompanied by more rain. In 2050, current predictions indicate a 30” rise in sea levels which will greatly alter the shape and size of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. We are living in a sinking city where it’s harder to find a place to call home, harder to put food on the table, and harder to have a moment of spare time, free of work, to prepare: although we live on islands surrounded by water, few of us have any direct relationship to it. Meanwhile, the edges of the islands, instead of becoming softer and more porous, are turning into glass and steel luxury towers. Present day-to-day life is a struggle, and the future is grim. Or is it?

Nancy Nowacek investigates exchange between the body and labor and leisure, the built and natural environment. By drawing on grammars of exercise, functional movement, architecture, urban planning, and engineering systems, her work collapses thinking into doing to reinstate the body as relevant technology, channel for experience, and site of imagination. Nowacek is a Brooklyn-Based artist, adjunct faculty at NYU, and a Research Resident at Eyebeam.

Mary Mattingly’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently as part of the International Havana Biennial. With the U.S. Department of State and Bronx Museum of the Arts she participated in the smARTpower project, traveling to Manila. Mattingly founded the Waterpod Project, a barge-based public space and self-sufficient habitat. In 2014, shel aunched a collaborative artist residency on the water called WetLand in Philadelphia.

Eve Mosher is an artist, interventionist and playworker-in-training, living and working in New York City with a serious interest in urban ecologies and sustainable development. Her works use investigations of the landscape as starting points for audience exploration of urban issues. Her public works raise issues on the environment, public/private space use, history of place, cultural and social issues and our understanding of the urban ecosystem. She produces collaborative works with Heidi Quante (Creative Catalysts).

Marina Zurkow is a media artist focused on near-impossible nature and culture intersections. She uses life science, materials, and technologies to foster intimate connections between people and non-human agents. Zurkow is a 2011 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow.

Maria Aiolova is an educator, architect and urban designer in New York City. Her work is focused on the theory, science and application of ecological design. She is a Co-Founder of Terreform ONE. Presently, Maria is the Academic Director for the Global Architecture and Design Programs at CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange). She is an institutional adviser to New Lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.