Join an international water symposium on U.N. World Water Day, March 22

More than 50 scientists, artists and other professionals will be featured in an international symposium titled “Water Issues Relating to Environmental Landscape Sustainability” on March 22, 2012, designated as International Water Day by the United Nations. Presentations will be made at Sousse University in Tunisia and at the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, but anyone can connect in and participate online for free. The general line of inquiry will be interdisciplinary, exploring points of contact between the arts, sciences and technology.

The symposium is organized by the Landscape and Environment Research Unit of the Higher School of Agronomical Sciences of Chott Meriem, IRESA, Sousse University, Tunisia, in partnership with Waterwheel, a highly creative interactive Web platform dedicated to exploring water “as a topic and metaphor.” The free event will be introduced online by the prominent social scientist and water activist Riccardo Petrella, author of The Water Manifesto: Arguments for a World Water Contract, and Ulay, a photographer, videographer, and activist who is best known for his avant-garde performance art with Marina Abramović.

The symposium will explore three themes:

1. Water and landscape construction of yesterday. What to do today?

2. Water and landscapes across disciplines.

3. Water and landscapes: issues of layout development and territorial scales.

According to a press release from Waterwheel,

Modern societies believed in the benefits of universal values shareable by humanity. Those which are succeeding continue to think that freedom of expression, religion, human dignity, citizenship, brotherhood, equality and access to basic resources are shared values for humanity. In this context, the overall thematic “Waters and landscaped questions” constitute a basis for theoretical and operational reflection and a major preoccupation for the conservation of ecosystem resources with different territorial scales.

Wondering how you can tap in? It’s all done through Waterwheel’s The TAP, a nifty online, real-time venue and forum, workshop and stage for live networked performance and presentation. The video above gives basic instructions on how to use The TAP. Audience members will be able to type their questions and comments right onto The TAP’s entry field on the bottom right of their screens.

For more information about the symposium, click here. To connect with The TAP, click here. For a good interview with Riccardo Petrella about “the Coca-Cola-isation of water” and other essential water issues, click here. For video of an Ulay-Marina Abramović 1978 performance art piece that has nothing to do with water but is fun to watch for its strangeness, click here.

And if you miss the symposium, no worries: the proceedings will be later published as a book and .pdf file.

Video embedded from

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