Memorial to the Missing Fountains is an art installation located at Ludwig's Fountain in UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza. Our team explored many design iterations for the fountain and decided our installation should accomplish two goals: fill in the gap left by the missing water and improve awareness of the California drought.
INSIGHTS AND MOTIVATIONS
Memorial to the Missing Fountains was born from a desire to fill the void left by waterless fountains on the UC Berkeley campus. Emptied in 2012-2013 due to the drought, the fountains have becoming lonely, sad, silent spaces - no longer a place of fun and beauty and an excellent meeting spot for friends. We hoped to give life to this in-between, interstitial, leftover space, and to simultaneously raise a visceral awareness of the severity of California's current drought.
Most of California is considered to be in D4 (Exceptional) drought conditions, the most severe rating given. If California continues consuming water at its current rate, the state will empty its water storages within 12 to 18 months. California also relied on groundwater for 60% of its water supply. so while this doesn't mean that California will run out of water within the year, it does mean that the state is relying more and more on groundwater to make up for its lack of rainfall.
What's even more startling, is that 80% of water available in California is used up by agriculture. However, agriculture only contributes to 1% of California's economy. Despite all of this, Governor Brown's 2014 executive order to reduce water consumption by 20% only applies to residential water usage, not agricultural water usage. These are startling facts when you know that California's water supply could support 318 million people if there were no agriculture in the state.
But what's most important is, even though it is widely known that California is in an extremely severe drought, most people can't see that in their everyday lives. People still turn on their taps and see a steady stream of water readily available to them. Therefore, it is important to visualize exactly how severe the drought in California is and how necessary it is for people to actively conserving water.
OUR STARTING POINT: EMPTY FOUNTAINS ON CAMPUS!
DOCUMENTING OUR PROCESS: EARLY DESIGNS
LUDWIG FOUNTAIN: PROFILE & OBSERVATIONAL HISTORIES
Ludwig's Fountain is located in Sproul Plaza, just less than half a mile southwest from Jacobs Hall. While Sproul Plaza itself is quite an extensive space, we chose to focus on the area starting at the bottom of Savio Steps extending west until the top of the stairs leading to lower Sproul Plaza.
There's not a lot located within the space, just Ludwig's Fountain, the free speech circle, and the tiles on the ground. But that's exactly what drew us to this space - the emptiness of the space the staticness created from the empty fountain.
Ludwig's Fountain is 20 feet wide in diameter and includes 10 water spouts located in various areas within the fountain. It was drained during the 2012 academic year and hasn't been refilled since then. The fountain, with its blue tiled surface, lacks the movement and privacy of a traditional fountain.
* History 2 * - Alice C?
* History 3 * - Alice P?
OUR FINISHED INSTALLATION: VISIBLE BOTH NIGHT & DAY!