|ReWater: a study in Perverse Osmosis
Rejected proposal for The Drop @ Exit Art by Ryan Griffis and Mark Cooley
Approximately 280 1/2 Liter bottles of Dasani™ drinking water bottles
Bottled water companies are becoming notorious for siphoning off public ground and tap water supplies and offering it back to the public at a huge profit. Bottled water companies have also become incredibly savvy at convincing the public that their products are cleaner, fresher and healthier than water from the tap even though federal regulation of bottled water falls under the Food and Drug Administration which has much looser regulation over contaminants than the EPA (which overlooks tap water sources) and provides no specific requirements-such as proximity to industrial facilities, underground storage tanks or dumps-for bottled water sources.
Dasani™ bottled drinking water, a Coca-Cola™ product, is bottled from municipal tap sources in the location of its bottling plants, "enhanced with minerals for a pure, fresh taste," transported great distances and sold back to the public at three times the cost of gasoline, or about one thousand times what the public pays for tap water.
Using the "replacement approach" to body hydration, the artists ryan griffis and mark cooley will replenish lost precious bodily fluids by drinking 2.5 liters of Dasani™ bottled drinking water per day of the exhibition The Drop at Exit Art. The artists will consume all of their fluid supply (setting aside the 20% average fluid intake from food) by consuming only Dasani™. The 2.5 liters will replace the estimated 1.5 liters of water loss from urine and an additional liter of water loss a day through breathing, sweating and bowel movements.
On a daily basis the artists will collect their urine, minus 20% gained from food intake, in previously consumed Dasani™ bottles, seal them, alter the label, and mail them to Exit Art, NY, where they will be displayed in a fashion reminiscent of supermarket product display, warholian nightmare and conceptual art. Bottles will arrive (approximately 8 per day) at the gallery throughout the course of the exhibition and be added to the display. Accompanying the bottles will be a digital map (either projected or displayed on a wall mounted monitor) tracing the shipping route from Dasani™ bottling plants (like the one in Queens, NY) to the points of purchase in Illinois and Virginia, and from the artist's homes to Exit Art. A mix of real-time and pre-constructed data will accent the map, visualizing the mundane movement of the water (and its byproduct), the inflated cost of bodily secretions, global corporate maneuvers, and the developing crisis of sustainable water sources.
The piece will tell a story of appropriated resources, bodily functions, pursuit of profit, dehydration and rehydration (of machines and bodies), daily routine, and interstate commerce.
SOME WATER RESOURCES