running water

This is being constantly rewritten, but at least it’s out.


The above, and the rest of its series by Lucas Inghile & Ayla El-Moussa, (I am compelled to start writing without going any further into their site) seems to draw on /rearticulate, a brand of fashion photography. A particular type of employment of the female or, ultimately even, the human figure. It employs some of contemporary fashion photography’s conventions in any case, and while being endlessly fascinated with it, I wish the series went further and away from that. So that it could be more deeply interesting as a reference for re aphrodite.

This may not seem appropriate or relevant (see precedent in phenomenology><art piece) but I want to use this  gif to start putting down something about running water, about public fountains, about their Ottoman significance and post-Ottoman politics, about my encounters with them, about their role as commons & often spiritual commons in the Middle East, about the increasing neglect and the appearances of locks on public water taps or springs (also think of apparently wealthy mountain-water communities like Platres), about the municipal cost and social/political significance of maintaining running fountains or non-potable water shows (remember Dubai Fountain), or the costs, the carbon footprint, and the understandable, inherent, privileged compulsion of running private pools.

Maybe by putting these things down, however roughly, I could find company in thinking more about this running of the water, about this delight in running water, unchecked. And also shared. Or running, clean water that is centralising socially (think Peyia, πυγή, washing, carrying, encounters over water, also think commons management, resource management, remember to link to my frustrated notes on that to do with SpaceApps2).

And perhaps putting this down will create time for me to ask more questions about Kyriaki Costa’s documentation of Nicosia fountains and her thrilling attempt to reactivate some of them (find that paragraph / my take on Kyriaki’s work written a year or so ago, which we decided to kept close until she finished working on the concept for her show but may belong somewhere here).

And on another, remotely relevant water-focused tangent, maybe this is the place to bring in that lengthy, unpublished shared document developed with Elisabeth Hoak Doering, where her work on ship graffiti got us talking about the commons.

And while we’re on the commons and previously unshared material, there’s also those IRC logs about and its indymedia lineage, a conversation that flowed public, and that  awaiting permission before publishing.

There’s also Christodoulos Panayiotou’s Cypriot copper-sheet water sculpture, and Evi’s fascination with lakes and mines. Right now, in my mind, the climax of this in some ways – or close to it – is Maria Toumazou’s gripping cement fountain from Unconscious Architectures (DATE), which takes me to Maria Papacharalambous’ work on the spiritual acoustics of water tanks, and then there’s that conversation with Christos Hadjichristos, which I may have dreamed, about the use of water in his & Socrates Stratis’s unrealised design for Eleftheria Square which came second in the competition after Hadid’s.

I have more notes somewhere, and there’s also the unsorted mass of hurriedly taken photos of fountains and locked taps I’ve been collecting for years, because I think they’re more powerful and sometimes even more data-rich than monuments and public art works. And also something about how I wish that my own work had been focused on water all along.




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