A living map in the gallery composed of water from the very streams flowing nearby.


Watercourse: Crum Creek

The List Gallery, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania


Recycled glass jars, vinyl letters, water

8 inches tall x 42 feet long x 19 feet wide

Curated by Andrea Packard

Volunteers went to locate the streams, creeks, and reservoirs that make up the Crum Creek watershed. They collected water from each of the tributaries to bring back to the gallery. A map of the watershed was laid out on the gallery floor using recycled glass jars and bottles that had been acquired by the community. The water from each tributary was then carefully poured into the vessels that corresponded to each particular waterbody. Visitors left a red sticker indicating the location of their house or school which created an additional map of where they live in relation to the watershed.

Visitors can cross through the map, stepping over the tributaries.

Variation in the size of the recycled containers forms a topography of glass.

Each tributary was visited and its waters collected.

Finding the streams was made easier by the winter snows which kept the banks clear.

Children marking the locations of their homes and school on the map. The red dots create congruent map of where people live along the watershed.