Joanne Douglas, Indicator Fibers

At first glance the Schuylkill River appears as two-dimensional. The world beneath the surface is lost and often forgotten by those who use its banks for habitation, work and recreation. My “tool”, a series of hanging dyed pH-sensitive and photochromatic fibers, will seek to bring attention to the world beneath the murky waters of the Schuylkill River by drawing the line of sight of its observer beyond its surface. As the fibers change color with the UV-ray exposure and acidity levels observers will be reminded of the sensitivity of the River and its struggle to sustain life with such rapidly changing conditions.

By making the concept of sensitivity of those things we can't see with the naked eye, such as slight changes in pH and UV-ray exposure my hope is to begin to engage those who interact the river on a regular basis to think about the sensitivity of the inhabitants below its surface and participate in projects to learn about them and protect them.


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  • Joanne Douglas