GroundWater: The Art, Design and Science of a Dry River

GroundWater: The Art, Design and Science of a Dry River

Hardcover(New Edition)

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GroundWater: The Art, Design and Science of a Dry River by Ellen McMahon

Groundwater brings together a diverse community of artists, designers, and scientists interested in understanding and raising public awareness about local water and its relationship to global climate. This engaging collection of photographs, graphic design, architectural drawings, artist books, essays, and poems by University of Arizona faculty and students is an ode to the dry rivers of Tucson, Arizona. Poems and essays by Nathaniel Brodie, Alison Deming, Allison Dushane, Gregg Garfin, Ander Monson, Logan Phillips, and Paul Robbins provide poetic perspectives on the Rillito River; an overview of the region’s climate, hydrology, and water policy; a comparison between the theory and practice of interdisciplinary research; and a trail of the overlapping roles of science and art in the construction of contemporary concepts of nature from the Romantic period to the present.

Art and design projects include intercontinental comparisons of arid regions and river systems, finely detailed drawings and photographic series reflecting direct encounters with the local landscape, and collaborations with the Rillito River Project. One scientist in the project describes the ability of these creative projects to “transform messages from the stilted language of scientific literature into rich, multifaceted vocabularies that can be grasped by those interested, but inexpert, in the subject matter.” Turning the desecrated and overlooked dry rivers of Tucson into muse and inspiration, this project speaks volumes about community, creativity, and responsibility. 

Groundwater is a work of art in itself, beautifully designed and produced with lush color reproductions, letterpress printed covers and open-sewn binding.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816530236
Publisher: Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry
Publication date: 01/15/2013
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Ellen McMahon is a Fulbright Scholar and University of Arizona professor of Art and Visual Communications. Her interest in combining the perspectives and methods of artists, designers, and scientists has led her into several collaborative projects focusing on environmental issues. Ander Monson is the author of a number of paraphernalia, including a website (, a decoder wheel, several chapbooks, as well as five books. Beth Weinstein is an architect, associate professor in the University of Arizona School of Architecture, and a performance scholar and designer.

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