Comfort in Hydrology
Comfort in Hydrology is a two-channel moving image work about a recent past and a speculative future of an unconstrained and mutable river, between the headwaters in the frozen north and the delta in the subtropical south - two interlocked worlds apparently suspended at some confluence in time.
Filmed on and above what is currently known as Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, and Louisiana during the Great Flood of 2019.
Comfort in Hydrology, Steve Rowell, 2019/2021 (edit), 13 minutes, two channel projection, stereo sound.
Official selection: Midwest Film Festival May 2022
Nominated Best Sound Design: Midwest Film Festival October 2022
Locations along the Mississippi River:
Lake Itasca, Minnesota
New Madrid, Missouri
Archival footage: “Mississippi River Flood of 1927” Department of Defense, Signal Corps, 1936
Public domain / National Archives catalog no.:ARC 24699, NAIL 111-H-1194
Music: “Broken Levee Blues” Lonnie Johnson, 1928
Public domain / Okeh Phonograph Corporation catalog no. 8618
“That wasn’t a true dream, but an ancient organic memory millions of years old. The innate releasing mechanisms laid down in your cytoplasm have been awakened. The expanding sun and rising temperatures are driving you back down to the spinal levels into the drowned seas of the lowest layers of your unconscious, into the entirely new zone of the neuronic psyche.”
- from The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard, 1962