This exhibition features an artwork by Framework Arts called Water. The multi-media sculpture includes this audio component that should be listened to while viewing it in the gallery.
Framework Arts engaged a community practice to understand the importance of water as both a biological necessity and a carrier of symbolic content. This practice of making art begins with inviting others to tell their stories and setting up the tools they need to do so confidently. It culminates in reproducing the stories in the exhibitions space for you to experience.
Audio Transcription for Framework Arts, Water
[sounds of water running and slow piano music]
First speaker: The river flows from west to east across the water pocket Fold.
New speaker: And it was really, it was the fact that it was cold and the stream was thick.
New speaker: Water sound lapping against your ear.
New speaker: I want to jump into the clear, cold water of Fremont Lake.
New speaker: I want to get in. There's just something right about being in the water.
New speaker: All that water, all the way through the plants and reservoirs, lakes, all of it. I think that's pretty remarkable.
New speaker: When you lay back in the water and spread your arms and legs out like a starfish, and you hear the “pop, pop” as the water settles into your ears and seals. And then the only thing you can hear is your breath.
New speaker: A group of three fish is swimming one day in the ocean and they see another older fish swimming toward them in the opposite direction. The older fish stops briefly to say, “Morning boys. How's the water?” before continuing on. Only once the older fish is out of earshot does one of the younger fish turn to the others and ask, “What the hell is water?”
New speakers: Water, water, water, water, water, water, water, water...
[piano fades, guitar strumming]
New speaker: Water. If I had explained water with three simple words, I'd have to say: refreshing, relaxing and soothing.
New speaker: Water feels like refreshment.
New speaker: Water feels like restoration, relaxation, rejuvenation, revitalization.
New speaker: It feels like water.
New speaker: Water represents for me, peacefulness.
New speaker: Water feels like rejuvenation.
New speaker: No matter how hard a day I had, I could just jump into the water and forget it.
New speaker: I want to jump in our pool.
New speaker: Water feels like a dream, immersing me in its depths.
New speaker: Water feels like a gift. Growing up in the desert. I always appreciated the uniqueness of a rainy day.
New speaker: There is nothing like water to wash away a long day, to soak tired muscles, to prepare healthy food, to keep our beautiful outdoors alive.
New speaker: Water is life, it's life in the desert, it's life in the Northwest, and it keeps our air clean and it watches over us all.
[ripples and wave sounds]
New speaker: But this beautiful river can be terrifying. Flash floods and torrents of water can destroy everything in the canyon. Water in the desert is scarce and abundant. There is not enough until there is too much.
New speaker: I remember learning to swim and how scary it was when you struggled in the water.
New speaker: When the sky is out, with hourless bloom. The blue in the water, turning pink to purple and the shore of it, white dome tumbles.
New speaker: And all of that water is being condensed down to this one tunnel. And when you're in it, it's so cool. You can hear all of the water rushing rampant, bouncing up the sides of the tunnel. It's just crazy.
New speaker: I was just walking along when there was just this big divot and my entire leg had gone inside of it. This big thing, that you can't see, it’s full of salt water. So, I probably could have just drowned in there.
New speaker: At some point I read or heard this thing about tears that might or might not be accurate. It is that there are different types of crying, but that those big fat hot tears that roll down your cheek's kind of like big fat snowflakes signaling, a small, but noticeable storm. Those tears contain excess stress hormones. So, your body is using whatever outlet it can find to leach the stress out of you before your heart breaks or you explode.
New speaker: And then when I moved to the Northwest, at first, there was so much rain. It sort of created a dull depression. And then I would learn about the salmon later and how important the water was to bring the salmon up the river. And then I realized, water is life.
New speaker: It also makes me think of Portland, Oregon. I used to live in Portland and it was a very wet place, but I love the water there on how you just kind of go with it and it doesn't get in your way when you're looking to go to work or go play somewhere, you just deal with it.
New speaker: On its way. It cuts a narrow deep gorge through red rock canyons, under a brilliant blue sky.
New speaker: The lack of water and how the lack of rain and how droughts, uh, make me feel and how I really yearn for water. When finally, it rains after not having rained for a while, it makes me feel so great. Like maybe not everything is wrong with the world.
[lapping water sounds continue]
New speaker: Water tastes like crystal looks, clear, reflecting the things around it.
New speaker: Um...Water tastes like, I think I want to say that water tastes like water.
New speaker: When I think of water, I want to brew beer.
New speaker: We would, um, we had these cups that were, you had kids, the cups, it had our names on it. We would sneak down and get water in these cups and then be somewhere else together. And we ‘cheers’ and say to the cool cat.
New speaker: Water to me, tastes like carbonated bubbles.
New speaker: Water tastes like the coolness of an evening breeze on a hot summer’s night.
New speaker: When I think of water, I think of being thirsty on a big hike.
New speaker: Water tastes like: kind of salty and kind of sweet and clean.
New speaker: And cool clean water is the most refreshing thing ever when you are thirsty.
[bubbling water noises] [music fades and returns]
New speaker: And you know of this well, that if you walk far enough into water, if you've let the sky absorb the cloth of your shorts, the bottom of your shirt, if you kneel down the water, half your body submerged, the smell of lake salt, rising in your brain, you know that you can let yourself fall backwards. That the lake here lifts your body back toward the sky.
New speaker: Water tastes like life. Water is our most important natural resource, without it, nothing, and none of us can survive.
New speaker: And I think of how cleansing a deep rain is.
New speaker: The sweetest water is tears of joy. Something that I reserve, I think for people I love, but today, this day in early November, I'm experiencing them for a different reason and it's glorious. It's a wonderful, wonderful thing. And I look forward to tears of joy like this in the future, but I may choose to preserve them just for the people that I love.
New speaker: Surrounded by it, swimming in it. It's my happy place.
New speaker: When I think of water, I want to do everything I can to keep it clean, keep it safe and conserve it. So, our community, our state, and our planet have enough for tomorrow and the generations that follow.
New speaker: I feel like water is a really, really, really, really, really, really unique substance that we have. And I am so happy and glad that we have it. Water is the best.
[water sounds continue, music fades]