The project | Labirinto d'Acque 2018

We are Water

The project of Labirinto d’Acque

Care of the Hydrosphere

From time to time, news agencies run a front-page headline: We Are Not Alone In The Universe; on some celestial body water has been discovered, and if there’s water, then there is, or could be, life. We are children of water; we ourselves are made of water. We are all part of a great pool teeming with life that is the Hydrosphere. The hydrosphere requires a great amount of care.

Man has known this ever since, several millennia ago, it became necessary to ensure the irrigation of water flowing along the web of freshly dug canals from the Tigris and the Euphrates, from the Yangtze to the Huang He, and in the lands along the Nile and the Indus. It was of the upmost importance for the walls of those canals not to collapse, and so every watchman and officer was given an area to watch over. Civilisation was born.

Today, when we turn on our taps at home and see clear water that’s safe to drink flowing out, we don’t give much thought to the centuries’ worth of skill and expertise that has gone into bringing about this “miracle”.

Once, aqueducts decorated the countryside with the elegance of their arches. Today our modern hydraulic installations are for the most part an invisible, underground labyrinth; and even when they are “visible”, as is the case for water treatment plants, no one except for those who work there bothers to look. Water is as precious as it is threatened by pollution and climate change and can be safeguarded first and foremost with culture.

The Ambition

Inviting the public, and young people in particular, to “think about water” both locally and globally, and to contemplate the logistics and problems involved in maintaining our water supply – which is particularly relevant in a time of climate change, melting glaciers, ruinous flooding, and desertification – is the purpose of the immersion in the Hydrosphere that Franco Maria Ricci’s labyrinth intends to propose in the Spring of 2018.

In addition to “thinking about water”, this event will be an invitation to “daydream about water”, about its entire cycle (evaporation, condensation,  precipitation, infiltration, flow, above and below the ground), on its states and its metamorphoses (hail, snow, glaciers…) –  daydreams stimulated by the unfolding of musical, literary and artistic splendours over several days in the spaces of the Labyrinth.

Our program is an ambitious one and as such it is subject to change and variation. Franco Maria Ricci and his team are working on a one-day scientific event in cooperation with the University of Parma and on a programme of lectures, seminars and other cultural events with the invaluable and expert help of Luca Mercalli, President of the Italian Meteorological Society and editor of the magazine Nimbus.