Speculative Aquifers

Speculative aquifers is part of an ongoing multidisciplinary project founded by Sunaura Taylor called The Disabled Ecologies Project. This broader endeavor encompasses a broad range of projects, including a book called Disabled Ecologies: Living With Impaired Landscapes (in progress), a research lab/studio at UC Berkeley (Disabled Ecologies Lab), and various art practice based projects. Disabled Ecologies encourages conversation, connection, and collaboration between critical disability movements and environmental movements. Disabled ecologies is my term for the relational networks disability generates and is produced by. These entanglements cut across spatial, temporal, ecological and species boundaries.

Speculative Aquifers is a series of watercolors and sketches that came out of research for my book investigating a contaminated aquifer in Tucson, Arizona. Through this work I’ve become completely captivated by aquifers–by their role in broader ecosystems, their entanglements with human infrastructure, their lack of currency as sites of nature, and by their current devastated state across the globe (due to over-drafting and contamination the majority of the world’s aquifers are in crisis).

My interest in these aquifers is also in thinking about harmed environments through a lens of disability. By following trails of toxicity, I have come to understand harmed aquifers as impaired bodies that are fundamentally entangled with other impaired bodies (human and non). These sketches are part of my attempt to understand aquifers and injuries to them.

Click on each image below to enlarge:

Aquifer Losing Reach

2017-2020
Pen and Watercolor on Paper
apx 11″ x 8″

Aquifer Network

2017-2020
Pen and Watercolor on Paper
apx 6″ x 6″

Aquifer Infrastructure

2017-2020
Pen and Watercolor on Paper
apx 8″ x 10″

Aquifer Container

2017-2020
Pen and Watercolor on Paper
apx 6″ x 7″

Aquifer Sponge

2017-2020
Pen and Watercolor on Paper
apx 6″ x 6″

Aquifer Body

2017-2020
Pen and Watercolor on Paper
11″ x 4″

Aquifer Trails

2017-2020
Pen and Watercolor on Paper
apx 6″ x 6″