Flood Warnings

Flood Warnings

Seila Fernández Arconada, Barney Dobson, Ioanna Stamataki and Ludovica Beltrame.


Flood Warnings are attempts of communicating flood risk. It is connected with nature and our relationship with it. This work comes out of a collaboration in which communication between different disciplines is vital. What is the relationship between the current societies and their environment? How are we dealing with climate change?

This collaboration’s starting point was looking at the future of flooding in the Somerset Levels and Moors. From the beginning we were inspired by the Tsunami Warnings made in Japan. Those warnings are written engravings in huge stones. They are attempts to communicate to the future for next generations telling them not to live in tsunami-affected areas.

Flood Warnings are a reflection in how communication between different organisations and individuals is happening in present times. How does the battle between short-term human interests clash with nature at different time scales? Could examining this question be applied to Somerset and its historical connection to water? Is current society learning from the past and its mistakes? Are human beings acting as good stewards for future generations to come?

The work consists of 4 stones that have been placed in Moorland as a compass from the centre of this area: 51°5’3.91″N, 2°56’54.52″W. This village gained nationwide recognition in February 2014 due to extensive flooding which particularly affected this area. The four stones are currently located in the area as an intervention in public space. They have an engraved message: TXT “HI” 2: 07860053076. This invitation for communication is a temporary autoreply service in which the audience, who could unexpectedly encounter the stones, will have the chance to communicate. Will they be curious about the message and text with their mobile phones looking for an answer?

Technology, which has an important impact in the aforementioned, also represents the rapid times we are living in, it changes, decays and develops. Meanwhile engraving drawings or writing in stone, an ancient technique to preserve human knowledge, was the first attempt of humankind to represent and preserve experiences in time.


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