Steve Rowell

Comfort in Hydrology


A two-channel moving image work about a speculative future set along a great river currently called the Mississippi, halfway between the headwaters in the frozen north and the delta in the tropical south. Filmed above what is now known as the states of Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, and Louisiana during the Great Flood of 2019.

“In the early morning light a strange mournful beauty hung over the lagoon; the sombre green-black fronds of the gymnosperms, intruders from the Triassic past and the half-submerged white-faced buildings of the 20th century still reflected together in the dark mirror of the water, the two interlocking worlds apparently suspended at some junction in time, the illusion momentarily broken when a giant water spider cleft the oily surface a hundred yards away.”

- from The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard, 1962