Using Art as a Way to Access Complicated Social and Scientific Issues

For the past decade, Alberto Rey has been working on site-specific art installations, websites, books and videos that examine bodies of water around the world and their relationship to social conditions. These works are complex, ambitious, and often include combinations of publications, documentaries, websites, paintings, drawings, maps, water samples with scientific data outlining their chemical breakdown and pollutants as well as images, graphs and videos from the data collection sites. Alberto will discuss ways to make complicated issues interesting and accessible to a wide audience. The lecture will also outline how this process evolved and his most recent projects in the Nepal and the United States (Art Projects | Alberto Rey).

Above: video from the Basmati River Project 

Frame a question?

Hi and welcome back @albertorey , would be great to finally meet. Are you coming to the Open Village Festival this October in Brussels?

If so and as we prepare the schedule given all the proposals coming in - I would be interested in zooming in on one question which you would like to answer during the session. It may be a question you have and could not answer yet, for whichyou invite contributions and active participation from the people attending. I believe this is the best way to get the most out of the festival and learn from others too. The less presenters versus spectators, the better!

I just watched the Basmati river project documentary you linked to in your story, it is beautiful. Can we embed it on this page so people can click and view it directly? Then add an introduction to the session so we can promote the proposal around the network and see what new ideas come to help prepare it.


Hi Noemi,

Good to talk to you again!

I apologize for not being able to join in the discuss yesterday. We are in the middle of final exams here on campus and I was in class.

I would love to present at the conference but I would need some travel support. I would also be interested in being a Fellow if that’s a possibility.

I’m sorry I was confused. I listed the questions that we hoped we could address by our presentation. My question is “What is the best way share our project and our interest in working on other organizations around the world?”

Thank you for taking the time to look at the video and your kind comments!

Here’s the code:

<iframe src=“BAGMATI on Vimeo” width=“640” height=“360” frameborder=“0” webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>

For the introduction, do you need something like “The Biological Regionalism Session discusses ways to use art as a way to introduce complicated environmental and health issues to a diverse audience”

I look forward to working with you.

Thank you!

Message coming up

Thanks, your interest in OpenVillage is much appreciated.

Requests for support acknowledged. Many community members are just now making different proposals for what the festival program could contain and so lots of content to go through. We’re gonna need, together as a group, to see how each initiative or theme works together with others to advance a collective opencare agenda and what we as a community can show to the world, so to speak. Expect an email reply with updates these days, ok?

As for the Fellowships, a few days ago posted an update in this group saying we need more time to see which proposals get others enthusiastic about them. That’s always a good measure for parsing.

PS I embedded the video. For next time: if you go to the Edit tab above the post you are able to make changes yourself, so just go ahead.

Thank you!

Thank you for embedding the video and your assistance! I will take care of it myself next time.

I had tried to post some comments with my iPhone but it did not work. It seems to be working well on my computer.

Thank you for the feedback and please let me know when decisions have been made for the conference. I have a few research trips coming up and am trying to figure out my schedule with the other researcher partners in New Mexico and in New Zealand. There is always too little time and money to do all that is necessary.

Thank you again.


DIY water quality measurements

Hi @albertorey ! It took me a while to get back to this after the call on Wednesday, sorry for that.

What I am interested in when talking about communication is how it leads to action. In my field, this would be for people to get engaged in research or development to ultimately improve the water quality. Water quality (and air and soil quality) are usually hot topics in civic uses of science. Here in Belgium alone, the biggest university-led projects are about air quality, as well as most grass-roots open tech projects. It shows that people really do care a lot about it. Eg. the air quality in my hometown of Ghent is pretty bad.

It might be interesting to hear the perspective of some people working in grass-roots water quality measuring. Communication is often an expensive (time- and/or moneywise) aspect. Your work as an artist is potentially a great help.

Has your work on making complex issues around bodies of water acessible somehow contributed to citizen-led research?

Beautiful! @albertorey  Hoping hope isn’t really the only thing left, however! :wink:  That log scale on the E.coli graph certainly gives me a new perspective to consider our current Montreux lake water study!  Really love the music too, and look forward to joining in the discussion about how to raise awareness via art for public health (also in the context of ‘genomic integrity’& AGiR! - not only cleaning up pollution)…  I would like to see some of the macroinvert biotic index data, if possible!  Did you tour the whole river, too?  I wonder if Nepal has sewage lines and treatment plants already.  (or not ??)  What is the interesting game with hands into the hole in the stone??  Dumping garbage in the river was common also, even back in the '80s, in Switzerland.  Another weird thing around here, some people say fish die-offs can because the lake water is too clean.  Also, federal standards of water quality are not based on presence of trash!  Any thoughts?  Looking forward to further discussion (the real kind, too!)!