River Studies is an ongoing long-term artistic research project about exploring the relationship of rivers and its people, rivers and its transforming cultural landscape, rivers and their function as carrier of cultural landscapes and identities. It utilizes custom, combined and unique methods in digital photography, data visualization, cartography and cultural mapping.
Rivers are natural waterways and lifelines of cultures with complex, diverse and ambivalent historical and contemporary roles. Rivers are connecting as well as bordering, they are deployed as routes for trade, as routes of military actions, as a place of religious worships or as a purely economical resource. However rivers play an important role in every culture and nation around them: Their basins give water and therefor life to the people – A good with great value in times of an overheating planet.
It has a long tradition to understand rivers as veins and lifelines of the 'system' Earth and as a consequence: humanity. It might have an even longer history to understand rivers as a timeless metaphor for life or the flow of history. That is one thing that makes rivers outstanding and quite fascinating. My other primary interest is to understand rivers as intersection and connection lines through continents, peoples and cultures - cross lines that form a landscape of natural features and accumulated history, a landscape that is as much a cultural as a geographic landscape.
As main imaginary tool River Studies utilizes a line-scan camera to sample river-scapes from a moving vessel: Custom-build machine's eyes that render unique representations of precious waterlines.