Pools and Mirrors

Here you can find the walking route

How to imagine perfectly clean water, substance or soul?

The project meditates on the process of cleaning, purifying and perfecting substances and minds in the proposed imaginary travel around the gigantic water treatment plant that could have taken the space of a whole city. One of the inspirations for the project development was Source Victoria’s architecture, which appears in Neal Stephenson’s novel Diamond Age. The impressive construction on the artificial island collects polluted water and air, conducts the substances through the system of cascading walls and tanks and finally recollects perfectly clean molecules of nitrogen and water.

Each treatment plant design could be understood as a path consisting of several steps that lead to the production of clean drinking water. Like: collection of dirty water, adding flocculants, sedimentation, filtration, disinfection, storage of water, and distribution.

The workshop project explores this narrative model of a path and proposes a city walk divided into seven steps where different parts of the water cleaning process will be explored at each stop. Here, participants will be invited to complete various creative exercises of imaging, observing, designing, drawing or telling stories. It will also be a proposition to observe how the water flows around the city and how is it stored.

At the same time, the project examines other instructive paths that lead to the purification of the material, transformation of the body and soul or getting awareness such as alchemic treatise Splendor Solis and Longchenpa’s Rest in illusion.

Splendor Solis teaches us how to manipulate the first matter (materia prima) to reach the philosopher’s stone, an ideal substance and the expression of the purity of the mind. During the process, we walk the colour path of nigredo, rubedo and albedo to reach the cosmic joint of solar and lunar elements – the unity of the oppositions. On the way, we also learn that every achievement needs its sacrifice. The old king (old habits) must drown to give space for the new king.

Meanwhile, Longchenpa’s path can propose a different direction. In Splendor Solis, we incorporate the figure of the grinder or constructor, in Longchenpa, we sweep the reality from our superstitions to realise at the end of the path that everything there is, is an illusion. We can’t trust our senses as we can’t trust that the world really exists. Main claim of the both proposed paths is that we need to change habits and get rid of the primarily adopted vision of the reality, to find the perfect response of what we can reach while discovering the true components of the world.