For Immediate Release
Images available upon request
Contact: Olivia Georgia or Liza Cucco
olivia @ cityaslivinglab.org / liza @ cityaslivinglab.org
CALL launches Daylighting Tibbetts Brook on July 30th to build awareness and support for a campaign to revive the Bronx Wetlands
July 11th, 2018; UPdated July 24th, 2018
New York, NY – On Monday July 30th at 6:00pm, CALL/City as Living Laboratory will launch Finding Tibbetts, a mobile wetlands designed by SLO architecture to model the potential benefits of daylighting in the Bronx. Finding Tibbetts, and Bob Braine’s corresponding project Estuary Tattoos, comprise the 2018 installment of Daylighting Tibbetts Brook, a series of artist lead initiatives to advocate for daylighting Tibbetts Brook..
Finding Tibbetts will illustrate the function of a wetlands in the urban environment as it travels from neighborhood to neighborhood. Residents who interact with it will learn about the lost ecology of the area as they imagine what Tibbetts Brook might look like running above ground along a new riverbed. Estuary Tattoos by Bob Braine will trace the history of the wetlands onto the skin of local residents through temporary body painting, viscerally connecting people with the ecosystem that surrounds them by mapping the course of the water's history.
Daylighting Tibbetts has been developed in close collaboration with the Friends of Van Cortandt Park and local citizens including Robert Fanuzzi, Jacki Fisher, Eileen Jeng Lynch, and Christina Taylor. It has been made possible through cooperation and assistance of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Daylighting Tibbetts Brook launch event on Wednesday July 25th will be held at the Van Cortlandt Park Tennis Courts on Broadway between 242nd Street and Van Cortland Park South, where the model wetlands is being constructed. Over light refreshments, attendees will hear from CALL Chairman Charles McKinney and Founder Mary Miss about CALL's vision for what unearthing Tibbetts Brook might look like. Attenders will be able to view SLO Architecture's work in progress — a mobile wetlands Finding Tibbetts and Bob Braine's body-painting work mapping the history of the wetlands, Estuary Tattoos, which will be performed as part of the launch.
We'll also be joined by our fellow members from the Coalition for Daylighting Tibbetts Brook, who will talk in more detail about why Tibbetts matters to the work that they are doing in the Bronx. Both fun and informative, this evening will set the stage for these projects as they travel throughout the Bronx in September and October. Tickets are free of charge.
CALL Chairman Charles McKinney Says: Through connecting local residents to the history and future of Tibbetts Brook and the Bronx wetlands over a series of six public events, CALL will raise awareness about this pivotal issue by gathering input from other local advocacy groups and community stakeholders.
Daylighting Tibbetts has been made possible with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, Agnes Gund, Target, and individual contributors.
About Finding Tibbetts & SLO Architecture
Finding Tibbetts 2.0 by SLO Architecture (Amanda Schachter & Alexander Levi) is a mobile-wetland that will travel through Bronx and Manhattan neighborhoods during the summer and fall of 2018. Built atop an 8’ X 16’ flat-bed trailer, Finding Tibbetts will model a slice of the ecosystem that once wended through marshlands and mudflats into Spuyten Duyvil Creek and the Harlem River.
Finding Tibbetts will bring communities around Van Cortlandt Park and Marble Hill closer to their evolving landscape. It will portray a cross-sectional cut of the future Tibbetts wetland recreated within the streetscape. Visitors will be able to walk through the brook’s shallows (made from looped, water-filled clear vinyl tubes). Beyond the simulated brook waters will be a live marsh planted with native grasses. The grasses will be grown from geotextile pads that float in a river-bed reservoir with clear sides to reveal their underwater root systems. Running along the back side of the marsh will be a miniature section of the Major Deegan Expressway, an impervious black surface with bright drain spouts shedding runoff into the grasses below
Alexander Levi & Amanda Schachter are co-founders and principals of SLO Architecture. They founded the firm in Madrid in 2005 and have been based in New York City since 2007. SLO links design with social action to address both physical and cultural conditions in challenging neighborhoods. In SLO work, conceptual and material invention are coupled with exacting fabrication and productive collaboration with local partners.
Amanda Schachter of SLO Architecture says: Finding Tibbetts 2.0 embodies the coexisting artifice and nature of our cityscape, by building an immersive cross-sectional cut of the future restoration of the Tibbetts wetland within the street grid.
About Estuary Tattoos & Bob Braine
Estuary Tattoos is a project by Bob Braine to map the history and future of Tibbetts Brook and its surrounding wetlands on the bodies of local residents through a series of body-painting events throughout the summer and early fall of 2018. By making local residents themselves into works of art, Braine will help them visualize and understand the estuary on a visceral level, the way it once was, before urbanization; the way it currently is with diagrams of the sewer system; and the way it can be through the future daylighting of Tibbetts Brook.
Bob Braine is an artist who has traveled extensively in Central and South America, Europe and the US generating photographs, drawings and site-specific interventions based on the fractured utopia of compromised ecosystems. In 2016, Braine carried out a similar series of events in Freisland, Germany at the Wadden Sea National Park, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Braine translated the vast expanse of the Wadden estuary, which is only visible from the air, into vivid diagrams that evoked its hidden beauty, dynamic and nourishing circulation.
About CALL/ City as Living Laboratory
CALL supports artist-initiated projects and programs which engage local communities to raise awareness of the environmental risks that affect every day urban residents – concerns about the quality of the air they breathe, the threat of heat waves, flooding, storm surges, and food safety. By creating “access points” for place-based learning and engagement, CALL brings environmental concerns into focus in specific locales. CALL combines environmental awareness with grass roots activism, employing artistic vision, scientific knowledge and civic leadership. By offering opportunities for experiential learning, discussion, and interdisciplinary collaboration, CALL provides a path for meaningful action – a means to bring about positive change. As a result, citizens who engage with CALL programs and projects are better equipped to grapple with environmental challenges and to re-imagine a resilient future. CALL is currently facilitating projects in Chinatown, the Bronx, West Harlem and Milwaukee, and is developing a replicable framework for artist-initiated projects in cities across the country.
CALL Founder & Artistic Director Mary Miss Says: Art has the power to involve people through visceral and place-based experiences, direct personal connection, and emotional engagement to evoke reaction and inspire action.
About Tibbetts Brook
Tibbetts Brook is the terminus of the 2500 acre Westchester watershed. On a dry day 4 – 5 million gallons of clean water from Tibbetts Brook is diverted, at great expense, to the Wards Island water treatment plant. During heavy rain falls, which are increasing in frequency, the combined sewers over flows sending toxic waste into the Harlem River. These overflows are the largest source of pollution into the Harlem River and are a detriment to the entire NY Harbor waterways.
The scheme to daylight Tibbetts has been incorporated into the NYC Department of Parks 2034 Master Plan. This concept would not only improve the Harlem River water quality, but also improve the air quality and livability of the surrounding neighborhood by providing a walkable and bike-able linear park that will connect Van Cortlandt Park with the proposed Harlem River Greenway.
To learn more about Finding Tibbetts and the event schedule for the fall, please contact:
Liza Cucco, Program Manager, City as Living Laboratory
liza @ cityaslivinglab.org / 212-966-4287
For more information about Daylighting Tibbetts Brook projects, visit:
To RSVP for the Launch event visit
Hashtags: #FindingTibbetts #EstuaryTattoos #CALLattentionNYC #Daylighting
Robert Fanuzzi, Former Chairman & Current Member, Bronx Community Board 8
Jacki Fisher, Social Entreprenuer and Activist
Eileen Jeng Lynch, Curator of Visual Arts, Wave Hill
Christina Taylor, Executive Director, Friends of Van Cortlandt Park