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September 26, 2009

The Waterpod: A Self-Sustaining Art Community ~Claire Flannery.

All Hands On Deck! A few weeks ago I stumbled across a New York Times article about The WaterPod. The Waterpod is a self-sustaining community on a barge located off the Brooklyn waterfront. Since July, the Waterpod acts as an experiment in sociability, isolation, aesthetic vision and self-sustainability. Much of the Waterpod is built from reclaimed and recycled materials and houses its own garden, irrigation system, free-standing composting toilet, and a series of exercise bikes for energy and exercise.

Not only is the Waterpod “a habitat for the new global warming epoch” writes the website, but also an artistic community, inviting the public for various live music and art events that take place in the hard-to-miss white dome. A large collective of all ages manage upkeep from watching the garden to maintaining structural stability on a daily basis in addition to those living onboard.

After reading about the Waterpod, I was equally fascinated and curious about the duration of its existence. I mean, it would be pretty sweet to live on this at least for a little while, watering gardens, building stuff and making art. Why not? It’s an awesome, dynamic installation structure (most certainly littered with Burning Man ideologies) and experiment with technologies that are ultimately benefiting the greater good.

But how long will it last? Will the technology they are developing and implementing go beyond the artistic and environmental community organizing it? How can just anyone obtain the resources to recreate their own self-sustainable home or community?

Experiments like this, I find, often times do not extend beyond the artistic/environmental communities that maintain the monetary means to fund such endeavors. Months from now, the Waterpod may very well remain alive and functioning, but can it be recreated elsewhere? I suppose time will only tell, and if you get the chance, visit the Waterpod. Their website goes into detail on upcoming Waterpod events and happenings.

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