Manifestation ‘Brak’ is a temporary, site-specific, installation. It consists of a sea farm, debate, harvest fest and a window exhibition. In the water of the Oosterdok in Amsterdam lays an installation. This installation is a concrete box. This box is positioned across from the Architecture centre of Amsterdam (or ARCAM). During the manifestation, the box was filled with fresh seawater. This seawater was then used to cultivate crops that tolerate salt.
The idea behind Brak
‘Brak’ originated because of the salinization. The manifestation tells more about the salinization in the Netherlands and far beyond. The sea level is rising and the torment is increasing. At the same time, we keep on constricting the ground and soil in the polders. ‘Brak’ asks, and in some way answers, the question about what would happen if we moved along with the flow of nature? What if, in certain parts of the Netherlands, the salinization is permitted?
Project Brak ‘repairs’ the old situation. Amsterdam used to exist in brackish water in the time of the Zuider Zee. The studio did the project to raise attention to the effects of salinization. It shows which big changes the water management brings.
How Brak works
Artis, the close-by zoo, pump fresh seawater into the box. This is done with a water boat. Beside this, ijwater is pumped into tubes that lay in the box. Because of the ijwater, the sea water is cooled. The cooling of the sea water helps the grow of Ulva lactula, or sea lettuce. Sea lettuce grows best when the water is around 18 degrees of Celcius.
Special thanks to: Artis Amsterdam, Plant Reseach Centre International Wageningen (PRI-WUR) Willem Brandenburg en Julia Wald, Vincent Kuypers Alterra Wageningen, Arcam, Martin Mulder, Eva Sneider, Roland de Thouars, Andre Oosterhuis, Dries Schuwer, Yttje Feddes, Anneke van Veen, Erik de Jong.
Sponsors (financial): Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, Stimuleringsfonds voor de Architectuur (SfA), Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Stichting Doen.
Dimensions: 10 x14,5 x 0,8m h
Execution: Summer 2011
Initiative and design: Swamps, Roel van Timmeren en Floris van der Kleij
More information: swamps-brak.blogspot.com