Date: June 26th, 2019
Location Schuylkill River, Philadelphia, PA, United States
Lat: 39* 58’ 0.870” N || Long: 75* 11’ 4.758” W
Link to approximate location on map: https://goo.gl/maps/VQSv4EiXrXFw8M3F7
The oft-photographed Fairmount Dam in Philadelphia was constructed from 1819-1821 in order to provide and store drinking water and water power, as well as create a recreational area for rowing, which continues today (see also: Boathouse Row). Yet at many points in time, it also served as a kind of dumping ground for pollutants and waste. In the late 1800’s, Dr. Charles Cresson, a chemist with the Philadelphia Board of Health, performed analyses of the river and concluded that the outbreaks of cholera, yellow fever, and typhoid at the time were partially due to the amount of discharge from nearby cesspools and slaughterhouses that made its way to the drinking water supply. Aforementioned pollutants from upstream such as coal silt, oil from refineries, and so on were also present, and the river was reported to have accidentally caught fire on more than one occasion, first in 1892 (174). The more one reads about the chemical history of this place, the stranger the juxtaposition becomes with its public image of health, recreation, and architectural mastery.
Input 1Hydrophone was lowered into the waterfall just where the water begins rushing down the decline.
Input 2Contact microphone was fixed to the underside of the bridge above the dam, capturing the vibrations from the cars above.
Input 3Lav mics where placed inside a small sculpture dedicated to the Lenape people
Lav mics where placed inside a small sculpture dedicated to the Lenape people