I was awarded a Studios at MASS MoCA Assets for Artists Residency in April 2016. I used the opportunity to focus my practice on North Adams’ Hoosic River. The goal of the place-based project was to promote a shared awareness and heightened cultural value of the urban watershed of the Hoosic River in North Adams and the greater Hoosic River Watershed (MA, NY, and VT). Research and community outreach informed the project, which aimed to highlight cultural and ecological issues at play in North Adams and ultimately promote a constructive dialog about the community stewardship of the Hoosic River Watershed.
As part of the Residency, I interviewed a diverse, intergenerational group of stakeholders including local residents, recreationists, conservation groups, artists, research scientists, and other creative minds engaged with the Hoosic River. I gathered discoveries through conversation, secondary research, on-site exploration and observation.
While in North Adams, I created daily digital drawings to communicate the ongoing local narrative of the Hoosic River’s urban ecology. The series of digital prints were made by combining photography of iconic Hoosic River and North Adams views with suggestions for installations. These proposals are memorial, testament, and celebration of the Hoosic River. The site-responsive works address issues of river access, recreation, fisheries, river ecology, water quality, infrastructure, and cultural history, practice and future. Conceptualized as the Hoosic Expedition, the proposals form an interpretative trail along the two channelized sections of the river.
Follow @davidbuckleyborden on Instagram and check #hoosicdailies to see the daily drawings from the residency.
Special thanks to folks from the Hoosic River Revival, Williams College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, MASS MoCA and Sasaki Associates for sharing their insight, research and passion.