Water Wheel

Water Wheel

Suzon Fuks


28th May 2013

On 22-23 March 2013, more than 100 scientists, artists, academics and activists from five continents presented innovative and informative works and performances in the second edition of Waterwheel World Water Day Symposium.

The symposium aimed to raise awareness of water, and to foster relationships between research, professions and the arts, and partnerships between universities, organisations in the field of water and land management, and members of society in general. This year’s theme was ‘Water Memories and Tomorrow’s Landscapes’.

The symposium took place on Waterwheel, an internet platform dedicated to Water as a topic and metaphor, as well as in seven “nodes” (physical venues hosting some presenters and screening part of the programme to local audiences) in Australia, Hong Kong, Tunisia, USA and Argentina.

Audience met and questioned museum and conference directors, artists from across performing-visual-and new media arts, contemporary thinkers and researchers in water sciences. A particularly memorable moment was a spontaneous jam between Carnatic singer Mahesh Vinayakram in Chennai, India, and percussionist Ricardo A. Coelho de Souza on David Ikard’s Água Eletrônica drum, in Oakland, USA.


Waterwheel is a collaborative online venue for streaming, mixing and sharing media and ideas about water. It is free and accessible on a webpage with just a click. Its structure, based on democracy and social justice, allows anyone to make and manage their own projects, independently, in private or public, locally or globally.

Its community mobilises and intersects as conscious citizens sharing responsibilities about water as a common good, crucial for the development and management of the global village, which will be facing more and more issues relating to water access, quality and impact, due to climate change, political and corporate interests, and shifting populations.

Waterwheel’s main features are:
- a repository of user-generated content: media, text and data about water, ‘the Media Centre’ - which puts people in contact with each other through comments
- a timeline/map indicating water events, ‘Fountains’ - used for info, promotion and archives
- a videoconferencing/media mixing system, ‘the Tap’- the main tool for presentations, performances, mash-ups, workshops & forums


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