The Project for the Preservation of Natural Resources


with Emilia Kabakov

YEAR: 2010





Baldeneysee, Essen, Germany
Ruhr-Atoll: Kunst & Energie 2010 (Ruhr Atoll: Art & Energy 2010), an organization in collaboration with RUHR.2010 on the occasion of the nomination of the Ruhr Region as European Capital of Culture 2010,  May 12 to October 10, 2010


The project proposes the laying of a long, wide pipe across an island so that it gathers water on one side and discharges it out into a lake on the other side. As the water moves through the pipe, it will be subject to high-quality technical processing: a water filtration system, enrichment with oxygen, as well as scientific observation and analysis in a specially equipped laboratory. The water in the pipe near the center of the island will rise along a sloping incline equipped with a pump that will be set into motion via two wind-driven structures. (In this way, the interaction of air and water resources will be realized.) A flat reservoir will be installed in the center of the island, and the smooth watery surface will reflect the energy of the sun rays back into the atmosphere. After the reservoir, the water flow will be directed downward via the pipe, and having passed through the laboratory and a secondary purification stage, it will be expelled back into the lake.

The Basis for the Project

Having read that the name of Professor Peter Sloterdijk was included in the membership of the selection committee for these projects, we decided as we were considering our project that in addition to having a high degree of technological sophistication, the project should have a philosophical content, as well. But what might be said to be more philosophical than the pouring of water from nowhere to nowhere, and more moral than the preserving rather than the wasting of natural resources?

We also have embedded in our project the economizing of the financial resources required for its realization. We propose to use the principle of recycling, that is, to make use of old metal drums, rusted pipes and previously used things made of plastic and rubber in our proposed structure.

Technical Commentary

The size of the island intended for the project should not exceed 300–350 meters in diameter.



2010Megan BartonComment