In 2014, Mia was selected by curator Stephanie Sherman to participate Near Futures, a project for Washington DC’s 5×5 Public Art Festival, a biannual sponsored by The DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities. This festival invites 5 international curators to select five artists to develop public works across DC’s urban core. As a longtime resident of DC, Mia considered her daily commute between her teaching position at George Mason University and her Brookland NE DC studio. She also considered her previous research in the Athabasca Tar Sands, The calving glaciers of the fragile Arctic, the current conversations in the US capital relating to energy policy and the future of coastal cities. She proposed to install a full scale replica of a gas station canopy in Kingman Lake–a waterway attached to the Anacostia River that would be visible from traffic moving over the East Capital Bridge. She imagined that commuters driving over this bridge on their way to the capitol would be struck by a jarring and disruptive image in the landscape, a premonition of a future to come if energy policy and culture do not change. The temporary structure was designed to have zero impact on the surrounding environment, would be illuminated at night creating a reflection in the water, and had sponsorships from local DC company Kenergy Solar, CA-based LEDtronics, and custom wind turbine from Italian Wind-Energy company- WindKinetic. A Canadian app developer began to develop an app that allowed for the public to monitor the levels of energy being generated by the sun and the wind on top of the gas station at any given time. Mia anticipated that these renewable energy sources installed on top the submerged gas station would provoke a dialogue about renewable and non-renewable energy dependency, and plotted The Flooded Lecture Series to host ongoing dialogue in tandem with the installation.
Just two months shy of installation, a local journalist wrote a piece about the upcoming project. This article caused a major controversy amongst members of the public who ultimately did not want to see a sculpture of a gas station installed in the river, even as a temporary provocation. A coalition formed and the matter was escalated all the way up to the office of the mayor, who eventually canceled the project. The Flooded lecture Series- without the presence of the actual Antediluvian Sculpture was able to successfully continue as planned.
Mia partnered with The Anacostia Watershed Society and Groundwork DC to present seven free tours called The Flooded Lecture Series, which took place on pontoons and canoes in the Anacostia River. Each unique tour was themed: Waste, Energy, Marsh Magic, The moon and The Tides to name a few. Climate Scientists, Smithsonian fellows, musicians, poets, primitive technologists, river historians and others led fascinating discussions on the water.
“Let me tell you some things that don’t belong in the river…toxic chemicals, excrement, oil and gas, trash, tires, refrigerators, and art projects”
Doug Siglin, Chairman: United for a Healthy Anacostia River
Flooded Lecture Series, September, 2014
The Flooded lecture series consisted of seven free lectures curated by Mia Feuer in collaboration with Lee Cain from the Anacostia Watershed Society. Each unique lecture featured members of the science and art community and took place on pontoons and canoes in The Anacostia River in Washington DC.
PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
Storytelling about Anacostia River’s History by Dennis Chestnut and an Intro to river landscape with Lee Cain
An evening canoe tour through the Anacostia Marsh at dusk with Lee Cain and biologist Jorge Bogantes Montero, featuring poetry with Yael Flesberg and a sitar performance by Omar Pitras Waqar
THE MOON AND TIDES
A midnight tour of the river featuring river history with Lee Cain, poetry with Buck Downs and a theremin performance by Arthur Harris (accompanied by Lee Cain on the saw).
WASTE AND TRASH
An ecological tour featuring the poetry of Narlan Taxeira and Smithsonian staff scientist Dr. Kristina Anderson Taxeira on ecosystems ecology, forest ecology and global ecology.
MANIPULATION OF THE NATURAL WORLD
A pontoon trip featuring a knapping demonstration by primitive technologist and archeologist Mike Johnson and discussion lead by Marchant “Lucky” Wentworth of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
A pontoon adventure featuring Solar Visionary and president of The Stella Group Scott Sklar
SOIL, OIL, SLUDGE
A canoe tour to Kennilworth Marsh exploring historical and botanical information with Lee Cain, biologist Jorge Bogantes Montero and poetry in the dark with Leeya Mehta.
Exhibition at University of Mary Washington