Ways of Knowing Water
People sitting on rocks in a field

We often talk about the problems of water or water issues, but one thing I have learned by spending time with the Collaborative is that water is not a problem. It takes the shape of the container that it’s in, and our culture is the container that gives meaning and shape to water and to our relationships with water, land, and one another.



Ways of Knowing Water is a community of artists, scientists, scholars, thinkers and craftspeople who are collectively learning how to feel, think, know, read, and taste water, in an attempt to devise a holistic model of knowledge that addresses water as a “discipline” of its own. We hope that what the community learns will lay the foundation for new paradigms for research, teaching, art, and public engagement. In this event, we will share what we have learned over the past years, and think together what work lies ahead. 

The event will be facilitated by culture activist Jewell Arcoren and artist Aaron Dysart—the Ways of Knowing Water fellows—who will lead the collaborative effort over the coming year. Other participants include Ethan Neerdaels (Healing Place Collaborative), Bill Arnold (School of Science and Engineering, UMN), Beth Fisher (School of Science and Engineering, UMN), Amoke Kubat (artist), Bonnie Keeler (Humphrey School of Public Affairs, UMN), Patrick Nunnally (Institute for Advanced Study, UMN), Jessica Hellman (Institute on the Environment, UMN), Shanai Matteson (Water Bar and Public Studio), and Boris Oicherman (Weisman Art Museum).

The Ways of Knowing Water collaborative is supported by the Institute for Advanced Study, and is co-organized by the Weisman Art Museum, The Water Bar and Public Studio, and the Institute on the Environment.