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A tide-responsive floating installation draws attention to “nature’s clock” on the shores of Philadelphia’s Bartram’s Garden.

Tide Field

Part of Art @ Bartrams Garden with Mural Arts Philadelphia, 2018

With Mural Arts Philadelphia

Supported by the William Penn Foundation

In concert with River Rooms

"There is no way in which to understand the world without first detecting it through the radar-net of our senses."  

—Diane Ackerman

Hundreds of round, brightly-painted buoys register the Schuylkill River’s twice-daily changes tide, drawing attention to what many Philadelphians overlook: that they live within the daily influence of the ocean and its tides. Tide Field creates a visual reminder of that cycle, providing neighbors and visitors alike a chance to notice how the river changes throughout the day. Tethered in clusters along the shoreline of Philadelphia’s Bartram’s Garden, the famed public botanical garden situated on the banks of the Schuylkill, the installation literally changes with the tide. When the tide is high, only a few buoys are visible; as the tide lowers, more buoys are exposed. These changes are easy to see from Tide Field’s partner installation, River Rooms, a series of six boat-shaped viewing platforms placed throughout Bartram’s grounds. Together, Tide Field and River Rooms create not only an invitation to be aware of the tide’s constant rhythms but also accessible spaces for reflection and observation of the tide’s watery clocks.

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