Source: The L.A. River Is Now A Temporary Art Museum, Fast Company Exist, Adele Peters, July 26th, 2016

Ask someone in Los Angeles where the city’s water comes from, and they might mention the Colorado River or the massive aqueduct that brings water hundreds of miles from the north. But some of the city’s water is also local. A new work of art called UnderLA, projected on the concrete sides of the L.A. River, shows the water hidden underground.

“We used the L.A. River as a canvas, and light as a material, and we project several visual stories,” says artist Refik Anadol, who collaborated with Peggy Weil on the project. It’s 1 of 16 installations up now around the city—on and around the river—as part of Current:LA Water, a new public art biennial.

Some of the projections in UnderLA show layers of sediment in local wells. “As you go down in depth, you’re also going back in time,” says Weil. “I think by 1,000 feet you’ve gone back a million years. There’s an emotional component to this, because it’s our history, and it’s also our future.” Another part of the visualization shows how water levels have risen and fallen with drought and overuse.

Over the next few decades, the city plans to dramatically increase the amount of local water it uses—partly by redesigning infrastructure so the little rainfall L.A. gets goes back into the ground, instead of draining down streets to the ocean. The artists wanted to make data about that groundwater accessible and interesting. “We tried to visualize this data by poetic connection,” says Anadol.

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Source: A Guide to CURRENT:LA Water   KCET Artbound, Carren Jao, July 16, 2016

“UnderLA” by Refik Anadol and Peggy Weil at 1st Street Bridge, between Santa Fe Avenue and Mission Road, downtown Los Angeles, and at the mouth of the L.A. River, 6883 Owensmouth Avenue, Canoga Park.

Though it doesn’t flow, groundwater is very much a part of the city’s water system. Artist Peggy Weil and Refik Anadol finally let Angelenos see deep into the earth by projecting arresting images of porous rock capable of holding and transmitting water — L.A.’s aquifers — onto the concrete banks of the Los Angeles River.

The artist team worked with USGS geologists to obtain data and images of ground slices below an Angeleno’s feet up to 1,400 feet below the ground. The projection is a visual walk through time, says Weil. At 1,400 feet, the ground holds marks of events that can be traces as far back as 2.5 million years ago. The images are interspersed with data visualization that shows the rise and fall of water levels at different points in time. Its apices and nadirs are a reminder of Los Angeles’ continual struggle for hydration.