Wade in the Water by John Duckworth
May 18 - June 11, 2017
1056 King Street, 2nd floor, Charleston 29403

“Wade in the Water” Links the Melting Glaciers to Charleston’s Flooded Streets by John Duckworth. A large-scale art installation involving smartphone activated locative-audio

On View: May 18 – June 11
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 18, 7pm


Known for creating art shows that spark conversation and push the envelope of artistic possibilities, artist John Duckworth took on leading edge smartphone activated locative audio technology to create an art installation titled “Wade in the Water.” This large-scale, site-specific art installation is presented by Enough Pie and housed in the 2nd floor of the new home of Redux, a 16,000 warehouse at 1056 King Street.

The installation will consist of three distinctly unique audio zones intended to highlight humankind’s intimate and interdependent relationship with the natural world – linking the flooded streets of Charleston with the melting glaciers of Antarctica through an audio-visual time-based experience. Each attendee needs to download the app (Wade in the Water) before entering the space, so bring a charged smartphone and headphones.

Working with 4-time Grammy nominated jazz musician/producer Quentin Baxter and composer Lee Barbour, the empty space will come alive with the sound of a gospel choir singing “Wade in the Water.” Visitors will be able to ‘walk within and around the sounds,’ as if walking directly into the choir. A central diamond-shaped room with dual projections of glaciers and flooded Charleston streets provides an inner sanctum for contemplation and bearing witness. In an effort to spark conversation, visitors are then able to directly participate by ‘leaving their voice’ in the final section of the room, lending commentary and feedback to create an ever-evolving space representing the pulse of the community.

John Duckworth

The installation incorporates groundbreaking smartphone technology and custom computer programming to place audio files in specific locations that are triggered by each individual’s movement through the space – resulting in a deeply interactive and immersive participatory experience. This smartphone locative audio technology has never-before been used in this manner.

The idea for the show was born out of meeting Rob Swan, a polar explorer, environmentalist and the first man ever to walk unsupported to both the North and South Poles. “In late 2015, Ben Towill mentioned that his friend Rob Swan would be coming to town to talk about Antarctica and in particular about the protective treaty which runs out in 2041 and how this relates to Charleston via sea-level rise. I decided to help amplify his message while he was in Charleston – and along with Ben Towill and Alex Opoulos, we helped arrange multiple speaking opportunities, created a mini-documentary, and interviewed him for my “Call to Adventure” radio show / podcast. Rob is pretty amazing ambassador for the message of interconnectivity – that our actions have consequences all the way around the globe – and he’s just a positive force for inspiring others to move and take action,” says Duckworth.

The art installation is part of AWAKENING V: King Tide which is annually presented by Enough Pie. This year’s theme is changing coastlines, rising waters, and our flooding streets. AWAKENING V: King Tide is based on key scientific data to inform and inspire creative installations beginning with April’s King Tide (April 29) to awaken each of us to facts and scientifically-based projections about water in Charleston in the 21st century. Local artists and scientists came together to envision one month of creative installations and programming.

“Wade in the Water” is a collaborative community effort that includes Quentin Baxter, Lee Barbour, John Gaulden, Garrett Budds, Leigh Webber, Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers, Kevin Harrison and Nameless Numberhead. The app was designed by Josh Kopeck from ECHOES from England. Digital mapping was done by Austin Schulz, lighting and layout by Technical Event Company.

FOR MORE INFO: wadeinthewater.org