permanent instllation since 1995
Center for Contemporary Art of Santa Fe(CCA), New Mexico, U.S.A.
June 9th- July 18th, 1995

All rivers on our water planet are flowing into wholenessas if "a gloval river" may exist.

This project was developed through the exhibition entitled "WATERMARKS: Collaborative Strategies for Eco-Activism" in the CCA.

Ritual on the river


Water, the clear, colorless, odorless liquid that flows in the rivers and falls from the sky, covers 71 percent of the earth's surface and accounts for about the same proportion in the human body. We drink, wash and grow food with it - oblivious at times that water is a living substance and not just a regulated commodity.
In Watermarks, a series of ongoing exhibitions at the Center for Contemporary Arts, art is the intermediary, rejuvenating the stewardship between earth and humanity. For Japanese artist Ichi Ikeda, and Santa Fean dominique mazeaud, water is a kife link and the medium engaged in a collaborative installation entitled Waterwatching.
"We used to do art for the art world, now we do art for the earth," wrote mazeaud of her annual ritual, The Great Cleansing of the Rio Grande River.
Across the Pacific Ocean, Ikeda similarly engages water in creating art - actions that awaken participantsto the unpredictable fluid world meandering through the earth.
Ikeda and mazeaud have been working with children, creating river tiles, each one dedicated to a rover somewhere in the world, part of an installation on the CCA ground.
Ikeda, who lives an hour from Tokyo, got the idea for the Unuted Waters project after contributing art to a calendar commemorating the United Nations' 50th Anniversary - a bit of an oxymoron, considering the planetary fragnentation resulting from national borders.
"Water is borderless", said Ikeda. "It flows like exchange between human beings. It is also a material people can't control. Instead of control, we must learn to coexist and live in harmony with water. It is the circulatory system of the Earth."
Participants in Waterwatching will see water flow over the blue cement rivertiles, an action that ritualizes the united aspect of the project.
If water is the medium, Ikeda is the brush that translates his projects into art actions. Ikeda participates in installation around the world - Water Mirror, Waterhenge, Floating Earth, Water Diary, to name a few - entering the water bodily or moving it by breath - the flow dictating the action rather than controlled by concept.
A curious observer at the Water Mirror installation in Okurayama, Japan in 1987 calculated that a glass of water taken from the Tama River today may easily contain about 250 molecules of a glass of water poured into the Mediterranean by Thales in 600B.C.
What might "waterwatchers" find in a glass drawn from the Rio Grande, borderless and timeless, in 2,000 years?

In the Center for Contemporary Arts of Santa Fe (CCA) , New Mexico, Ikeda made about 650 concrete blocks bearing (scribed) the name of the river flowIing over our planet and laid them as flow of a river in CCA yard.

When the rain falls, the names of the rivers filled with water appear rising from the bottom of concrete blocks. When more rain falls, all the concrete blocks filled with water connects into " one river".

The United Waters" is the permanent installation for seeing the water circulating over/under the earth from the water at his/ her foot.

watcth our water planet through water under your foot

United Waters in UN calendar

In 1995, Ikeda was selected to one of the "12 artists in the world"
who composed the art calendar " The Message: We the people---"
in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations,

Ikeda made his image in the art calendar, based on his installation/ performance entitled Earth-Up-Mark which was made public on the sands of Hinoemata River, Fukushima, Japan, 1985.This was regarded as coexistent expression between human and environment. My message in the art calendar was as follows:

We the Peoples are to realize why Water, that is so full of life to us, is our medium for moving the borders,
in everyday customs, histories, various cultures and so forth, simplifying to a profound exchange between human being and human being.

We the Peoples are
to be born on the earth
caressed in a cradle of water
and growing as it grows.All lives live in harmony.
The rivers flow to fertility
and the soil rises to evergreen.