The Churning of the Milk, a video installation
The Churning of the Milk draws on a story from the Mahabharata. In this myth, gods and demons work together churning the Milk Ocean to create an elixir of immortality. In reading this text, I found parallels to our own attempts to manipulate and control the world around us. A rippling pool of milk becomes a metaphor for the way we are polluting both the environment, and own our bodies in a world out of balance.
As a New Orleanian, I have witnessed first hand the impacts of climate change. When we were allowed to return to our homes six weeks after Hurricane Katrina, waterlines ran throughout the city like ghosts of the flood that had now receded. Following this line through New Orleans as it rose and fell was a surreal experience as some areas of the city had been under 20 feet of water, in all 80% of the city flooded.
As the audience enters the space, wafting fabric with a waterline just above their shoulders engulfing them. Navigating through this sea of fabric, viewers must make their way towards the other end of the space in order to view the video projection. This simple marking of a waterline conveys the strange and unsettling reality that we are all vulnerable to the effects of global warming. While the story of Hurricane Katrina and rebuilding continues in New Orleans, other weather related disasters continue to occur around the globe at an ever-increasing rate.