Water Memories Itinerant Office


Rachel Schmidt

Rachel Schmidt received her MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and has been an artist in residence at Sabhal Mor Ostaig on Isle of Skye, Scotland; Taipei Artist Village in Taipei, Taiwan; Vermont Studio Center; and at the Taller Portobelo Norte in Panama. She was a resident artist at Arlington Arts Center from 2011 to 2016 and has exhibited throughout the US and internationally including exhibitions at Hemphill Fine Arts (Washington, DC), VisArts (Rockville, MD), School 33 (Baltimore, MD), transformer (Washington, DC), Flashpoint Gallery, (Washington, DC), GAIT LA (Los Angeles, CA), and Komuna Otwock Gallery (Warsaw, Poland). Her work has been reviewed in Sculpture MagazineThe Washington Post, and in numerous other print and online publications.


Basurama is a collective dedicated to the research, creation and cultural and environmental production founded in 2001 that has focused its area of ​​study and action in the productive processes, the generation of waste that these imply and the creative possibilities that these contemporary conjunctures arouse. Born in the School of Architecture of Madrid, he has evolved and adopted new forms since its origins. It aims to study phenomena inherent in the mass production of real and virtual garbage in the consumer society, providing new visions that act as generators of thought and attitude. It detects loopholes within these processes of generation and consumption that not only raise questions about our way of exploiting resources, but also about our way of thinking, of working, of perceiving reality.

Basurama has proposed to find waste where it would not be so obvious to find them and study garbage in all its formats. It has become a multidisciplinary space in which different activities take place simultaneously but with a common focus. They have room, along with the visual arts in its broadest sense, all kinds of workshops, presentations, concerts, screenings and publications. It also aims to establish a platform for people from the social fabric who occupy very different places to come into contact and work together, but who are not far apart, considering themselves as a creative node - a meeting space. He has made more than 100 projects in four continents, he has his base in Madrid and a permanent office in Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Bilbao (Spain).


The Water Memories Intinerant Office is a collaborative participatory art project by Basurama and Rachel Schmidt. The objective is to make visible how water cycles work, from industries and transportation to waste and sanitation. The current water cycle it is not a purely natural cycle, but is constantly manipulated by humans and therefore; our everyday actions directly impact the water cycle. The office will collect stories about water, which will be bottled in different formats (images, drawings, texts, projections, sounds ...) to be preserved, shared, and heard, at the Fair Water Exhibition in a site-specific installation. These water stories will be integrated into time capsules that will allow us to reflect on the inequalities, scarcity, and drought surrounding water access, but also allow us to focus on the solutions, proposals, and ways to recover and care for our water ecosystems.

Water Memories Itinerant Office is one part of a large collection of works, Fair Water:The Water Office, a new project by Spanish curator Blanca de la Torre. Through different workshops, The Water Office seeks to provide a platform for those voices acting as “trenches” in the “water wars” that were predicted at the end of last century. In this context, art presents itself as an effective tool when addressing climate change and environmental crisis, and provides a framework for cultural practices to be aligned with the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.