Video

Swallow

Elizabeth Chitty

2018, 15:00 minutes, colour

TAPECODE 114.09

This work is about the Detroit River and part of a body of work about water in the Great Lakes Basin, primarily in Niagara. I approached the Detroit River from the perspective of remediation, specifically the City of Windsor Riverfront Sewer Basin and the Tree Swallow Monitoring Program carried out by Detroit River Canadian Clean-up with Environment and Climate Change Canada, and as an international boundary. Governance and other documents form much of the audio and concern the International Boundary, dredging history, a Government of Canada Indian Land Claims document regarding the Walpole Island First Nation Boblo Island nquiry and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement – such documents are full of stories of how we got to where we are.
The video begins with pouring and drinking tap water then proceeds in sections moving downstream from downtown Windsor, to LaSalle and one of the Detroit River Tree Swallow Monitoring sites, to Amherstburg Canadian Coast Guard Base. Much of the video was shot while walking. The audio moves among 4 speakers and includes the above-mentioned documents read aloud, environmental sound and a short poetic text. Real time and movement run through this work and my human body is always close by as is the viewer’s in seeing and listening. We are entangled with the water within and without us.

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