VLOEDLIJN (FLOODLINE) 1:1250
In 1993 and 1995 the IJssel in Deventer reached over 7 metres +NAP* and the water touched the top of the dyke. In 2012, secondary channels will be unearthed to create extra space for water storage, this way, the chances of the water reaching this height again will be reduced to once every 1250 years. TIDELINE – 1 in 1250 – for the exhibition ‘Hoog Water! – De Stad – De Rivier – ’ (i.e. High Water! – The City – The River – ) illustrates the time span between cause and consequence of the Ruimte voor de Rivier** policy in The Netherlands. I have requested every river level in Deventer between 1992 and 2012 from Rijkswaterstaat and put the data in a graph. The whimsical graph line indicates 240 different measuring moments that represent 240 months (20 years). This supplies us with an elongated pattern of measuring points showing concentrations of average, consistent fluctuations spanning the seasons, and every now and again peaks up or down.
FLOODLINE – 1 in 1250 – is about measuring and marking, planning and controlling, ‘the flexibility of our landscape’. I pose the question to what extent the whimsicality of nature can be controlled, directed and shaped in a carefully laid out landscape, with a chance of flooding of 1 in 1250.
The 240 measuring points are indicated with an equal amount of markers, placed in a line of 8×60 metres. Every marker has its own unique code consisting of the year and month of its measuring point. The markers symbolise working in- and designing the landscape in our desperate attempts to control the unexpected and unpredictable. As with many of my other works, a blueprint exists, a kind of score I follow with great precision. However, the end results look coincidental, whimsical, and elusive, just like the river.
* NAP stands for ‘Normaal Amsterdam Peil’, or ‘Normal Level in Amsterdam’, and is the reference height used for measuring water levels.
** Ruimte voor de Rivier is a Dutch ‘Key Planning Decision’ that was enacted on the 26th of January 2007. Its goals is to prevent flooding of the larger rivers and the improvement of the ‘spatial quality’ of the river areas.