Artist Eve Mosher gave a talk as part of the Marfa Dialogues New York on October 30th, 2013, hosted by ecoartspace at the Rauschenberg Project Space. The artist shared the story of her public art project HighWaterLine where she marked the ten-feet-above-sea-level line along nearly 70 miles of coastline, in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, with a baseball line marker over the summer of 2007. Mosher recently collaborated with ecoartspace curator Patricia Watts to develop an HighWaterLine ACTION GUIDE so that communities anywhere can learn about her work and now mark their own line using Mosher’s project as inspiration. The guide was written for educators, nonprofit organizations and individuals, combining art and science to engage aesthetics while addressing environmental issues. In the guide, a range of waterline marking materials and other artists' examples are provided, as well as Mosher’s step-by-step process involved in performing the project. This is the first in a series of ten guides that will be created by mid 2015 addressing a range of environmental issues.
During her talk Mosher focused on the evolution of the project into the Action Guide and her upcoming HighWaterLine projects for Miami, Philadelphia and London. In these cities, community involvement and participation are crucial components in the planning stage, which is already underway. For these new projects she is working on a mapping website that will collect place-based stories, and collaborations with local artists. She elaborated about her collaborative process, the open source aspects of the project and the exponential impacts of giving the work away. Mosher also spoke about the performative part of the project and how initially she did not think of it being a performance. However, in the process of engaging with the public and in conversations with those she met in the streets while walking and marking the line, that it did indeed become a performance work of art.
The talk at Rauschenberg Project Space took place one year and a day after Hurricane Sandy. Though Mosher doesn't like the role of prophetess, her HighWaterLine did in fact anticipate the flooding and storm surges in some areas of New York that went well beyond her blue marked 100 year flood line - or what anyone thought was possible? Sometimes being a visionary artist is not all that easy and with people's lives and well being at stake, Mosher's upcoming HighWaterLine projects take on a new urgency.