hydrologic unity: 02040205 / an unrippled water
Neon, hand-built boat, custom c-n-c routed sustainable plywood, accessories. (2016)
The components of the installation Hydrologic Unity 02040205 include a small punt – a flat-bottomed boat – which the artist constructed along with members the public here at the museum, and a neon piece that references the concept of “hydrologic units” – a system that geologists use to categorize and classify bodies of water throughout the world. The title of the piece references hydrologic unit code (HUC) as well, which is one of the ways the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) designates the Brandywine. This code situates the River within the Mid-Atlantic water-resources region (02), the Delaware sub-region (0204), the Lower Delaware accounting unit (020402), and finally, within the Brandywine – Christina locality (02040205) itself. There is a play on the word “unit” with “unity” which describes the river itself as a link between diverse peoples varying landscapes.
The neon light references the river’s former industrial uses as a source of power. During the Industrial Revolution, the reign was a seat of power and hundreds mills were activated by the Brandywine (including the one you’re standing in now). The neon was fabricated with the specific constraint to use the amount power that the River could generate using an inexpensive consumer grade hydroelectric generator.
Hydrologic units, hydrologic unit codes, and hydrologic unit names (Excerpted from Slack and Landwehr, 1992 and Seaber, Kapinos, & Knapp, 1987)