These "Flash" messages (texts) about a river increasingly prone to flash flooding were developed collaboratively by Schuylkill Corps participants for visiting scholars attending the Anthropocene Campus Philadelphia
. Messages flashed up on subscribers' phones three times daily, arriving while scholars sat in seminar or hotel rooms, near the river banks.
The project and its messages aimed to introject the Anthropocene Campus's background, the industrial and postindustrial river, into the forefront of the on-campus discussions in seminars. How might they help us consider the river as an actant in our knowledge production?
Message recipients subsequently took tours of the Schuylkill, using kayaks provided by Bartram's Garden Boathouse and led by Peter DeCarlo and Bethany Wiggin.
The messages--which you can read individually here-- include old names, lost histories, forgotten places, tidal charts, proxy data, and lyric poetry. In their entirety, they point toward the long history of this river, where the river's sedimentary history is pockmarked by environmental injustices enduring over multiple human generations and punctuated by spectacular explosions and fires that can burn for days.