Prattsville, New York, USA

“Geographies of Resilience” proposes to create a site from which it is possible to consider an intertwined series of economic, visceral, and historic flows that connect the rural Catskills watershed to the 9 million people of New York City.  By tracing the planning and harvesting of water, we will envision both the remote mountaintops and the dense urban environments they make possible.  Through maps, models, writing, artwork we will show that the ‘city’ and rural are one and seek to unravel what Rem Koolhaas has called “the political consequences of ignoring the countryside.”  “Geographies of Resilience” will use a methodology of collaborative design and dialogue to connect renowned designers and artists with rural participants and students in a process of mapping reservoirs, communities, and capital as they shape liquids, land use, and values. The project will convene in Prattsville, aCatskill mountaintop town at the highest point in the NYC watershed system, which is still recovering from a devastating flood. Designers will join with residents in developing a resilient town plan that addresses global issues such as flood recovery, green energy, waste management, and creative place keeping in an underserved low-income community. The exhibition, symposium, and design projects will be initiated at the Prattsville Art Center, a non-profit arts and community space in the heart of a small-town Main Street, which is itself being elevated out of the flood plain, and design for rural flood mitigation and climate resilience will be a part of a collaboration with regional Universities. The project will travel to galleries at New York University, following the water supply itself as it flows from rural to urban communities. We need look no further than the current American political condition to understand the profound threats to a nation and its people, when we falsely divide citizens into the binary, and arbitrary, condition of rural versus urban.

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Lawry Boyer Mitesh Dixit Ana Maria Ricchiardi Hernandez
Prattsville Art Centre
The National Endowment for the Arts
Prattsville, New York, USA