Until 17 June, Nicholas O’Brien presents a solo exhibition at Knockdown Center in New York. Treatment: The Plan for Rain uses animation and sculpture to rethinks the NYC Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) stormwater collection program. The exhibition is an insight into the often opaque decision making involved in shaping urban infrastructure and the relationships between city planning and city ecosystems.
DEP’s stormwater collection programme is designed to manage stormwater in the city. The programme operates on a large scale and employs System Engineering principles common to urban infrastructure projects. Treatment: The Plan For Rain examines ways in which this programme overrides, disregards or obliterates fragile human and biological elements. The works in the exhibition look at the DEP’s relationships to soil biodiversity. They also look at the way the programme is communicated to citizens and at how quality of life is impacted by such large scale work.
Knockdown Center is situated on a floodplain and is impacted by the DEP stormwater collection programme. A series of public events and programming linked to Treatment: The Plan For Rain invite communities directly affected by the stormwater collection plan to engage in dialogue and to share information.