Recently the Dnipro river has been experiencing high levels of pollution through harmful algal blooms, a widespread phenomenon caused by toxic industrial runoff and global climate change. The river has transformed from something once abundant with life, to being covered in a layer of algae that can suffocate the lives of other species. I wanted to explore material transformation through the lens of the Dnipro, and have created intimate portraits of the river in acrylic, transferring it’s boundaries to become a central focus to address this topic, layering and juxtaposing man-made tributaries with ancient and natural flows. Creating a water battery with polluted water from the Dnipro with speculative algal bioreactors, I consider converting cyanobacteria and polluted water in the Dnipro into energy; in this case, for illumination. A re-framing of the river helps us to reconsider our impact on it and future methods of harmonious collaboration with it, other ecologies and non-human species.
ARUA.xyz is an augmented reality map containing digital sculptural works by multiple Ukrainian artists featured in this exhibition, as well as an online browser-based project. It is an intervention of space, a re-writing of present geographies, a disruption of physical and digital borders, and a intentional positioning of new cultural digital monuments throughout Ukraine. For this exhibition, these sculptures can be seen in the gallery, but they can also been seen at the different locations where there are highlighted on the map when visiting those locations through a smart phone. ARUA.XYZ will live beyond this exhibition to include additional works by other artists from Ukraine who are interested in this digital intervention of space within and surrounding the boundaries of Ukraine.