Plus — a succession plan for WATERSHED+
City of Calgary, Canada, 2017
Plus catalogues the last 8 years of WATERSHED+, documenting projects, key people involved, and the outcomes. It contains people's voices and experiences from many points of view: engineers, artists, managers, and critics – many of whom helped shape it. WATERSHED+ was realized by a cross-disciplinary team led by Sans façon.
WATERSHED+ is about a system, a city, and an emotional connection between citizens and their place in the environment, it offers complementary ideas about the role of the artist and how artwork can be created, responsive, and embedded. Its guiding motive is to embed, not so much the artist, as their creative process within the core activities of a City department – Utilities & Environmental Protection (UEP) – responsible for the well-being and care of Calgary’s water resource. The program creates space for long-term, cross-disciplinary relationships and for collaborations to grow, fostering a curiosity about the city while sharing interests and multiple perspectives to explore how people connect to their environment.
“...WATERSHED+ is a plan, a program, an artwork. It is processed-based work, with temporary and permanent work.
It is performance and collaborative. It is artist-lead, municipal, internally and externally focused; it is engaging, informing, educational. It is engineering. It is art. It is serious, critical, joyous, challenging, and celebratory...”
Alongside this documentation six prominent arts voices were invited – a combination of artists, curators, writers and editors – to explore a topic and to complement the narrative of the program, projects, and process from their experiences. These art subject matter experts bring knowledge about contemporary art, urban and cultural development, and insights into creative processes. The book also outlines the less tangible outcomes and provides recommendations for the future of the program.
WATERSHED+ is a City of Calgary public art project and a collaboration with Sans façon
Book layout + design by: Mustaali Raj
Essays by: Tatiana Mellema, Hesse McGraw, Diana Sherlock, Susan Szenasy, Shauna Thompson and Janet Zweig, Interviews of staffs and artists by amery Calvelli