Project: Water in Mostoles, (temporary title)

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By Carla Capeto and Jose Luis Pajares (gelo)

Based on short but effective research on Mostoles Carla Capeto and Jose Luis Pajares decided on the subject of water as central theme. Subsequently they followed two slightly different paths in their artistic approach.

Water as graffiti tool

GTM09

First they focused on experiments with water as a tool for graffiti that, in its temporary qualities reminded of the temporal, perishable quality of tracks and traces. This way graffiti could be used as a very gentle and poetic story telling tool, that also describes the space on the spot, in a more or less abstract manner, without permanent altering or damage the place. The drawings could be fixed though by using existing locative media tools: combing geotagged photography and video, GPS-tracks and writing. Based on this realization Carla and Gelo decided that they wanted to do water graffiti during a GPS recorded walk and combine the photo documentation and tracks to one of the available locative media tools.

Historic research
Besides they had found that the history of water supply in Mostoles had a special meaning: only in the early 80-ties the place had been connected to the tab water of the Isabel II canal. The team decided to do also street interviews during their walk to find out if the memories to these times where still vivid, and if people could point out formerly used wells and point to spots that had had a relevance to this history and/or other (in) visible features of the past water system. These interviews where video recorded and location tagged.

Used presentation tool
As there was only one morning to prepare for presentation, the participants decided to combine their results in the form of a KML file that could be presented in Google Earth. They overlaid the standard Google satellite and/or map image with an old satellite image of the neighborhood got from the Comunidad de Madrid Stadistics Institut. They combined their own GPS track with still images and video that were pre-published on web 2.0 tools like Youtube and Lockr. This way all mayor features of Google earth where effectively used to present the relation between the research, fieldwork and the location of Móstoles.

Conclusion and future options
The team experienced how working with locative media opens for an approach of doing project on location that combines both a conceptual / abstract approach as a historic research based approach: Doing the research-interviews with local people turned out to be a source of inspiration for the water graffiti and vice versa. A first step towards possible exploration methods has been set, and opens up for future possibilities to develop the project further. These explorations will continue playing with the paths covered by urban underground facilities. The mapping of this invisible network that meets our basic needs and the visualization of the related economic and geographic data can emerge in ecological and social discourses, enhancing the feel of responsibility about the expense of our natural resources and social inequalities. This interface might be also able to show how the absence of these infrastructures determined personal and social life until very recently in western countries, and how they still do in poor countries.

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