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An eco-installation of empty water bottles donated by Burners and evolving/amassing at Burning Man as the week passes by.

Cell Leader: Cherry
Puddle discussion

Watershed is a man-made forest of 3600 plastic water bottles collected from the New York City area and serves as a visual representation of 1 day of playa water consumption. Out of the 50 billion bottles of water consumed each year, 80% of these bottles are currently not being recycled. Not to mention, bottled water is 1,900 times more expensive than tap water, and the toxins emitted by it have been linked to serious health problems such as reproductive issues and cancers. Watershed was created with the hopes that viewers will shed the notion that they need to buy water in plastic bottles. If we are looking to better the environment, water is a great place to start since we have the best quality water coming out of our taps.

wa·ter·shed (wô'tər-shěd', wŏt'ər-) Pronunciation Key
n. A critical point that marks a division or a change of course; a turning point: "a watershed in modern American history, a time that ... forever changed American social attitudes" (Robert Reinhold).


  • The piece will "evolve" throughout the week — the 2009 Burning Man theme
  • The piece will be created from waste materials readily available at Burning Man
  • Water and water bottle consumption is a very timely issue for the environment. We can make a statement to participants.
    Furthermore Disorient can show our new water system (reservoir) which reduces/eliminates this waste.
  • The playa itself is a dried up lake bed.
  • The piece has a real community aspect to it and we can hopefully involve many members of camp and people outside of camp in the creation.

19 years ago when the BM festival first moved to BRC there weren't bottles of water like we consume so rapidly today.

We as a society have been sold by Pepsi and Coca Cola that we need to pay for our water when we have the best quality drinking water in the world coming out of our taps! And the true costs of this water doesn't end with the price tag, or the consumed plastic, or the fuel consumed trucking this all around, it ALL adds up.

Here's an award-winning article on this subject: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-message-in-a-bottle.html

We need to EVOLVE back to our roots away from mindless consumption, starting with water. And if every there's a place where we would expect radical, creative solutions to begin it's at Burning Man.

Solutions: (Reduce)
Fill up a water tank or cooler for your camp
Have your RV serviced with water (believe it or not, it's MORE efficient than carting around/wasting plastic bottles)
Use a reusable portable water container on the playa (no more personal plastic bottles)
And certainly if you must consume, recycle and reuse your waste.

Plastic Bottles Needed

We are currently collecting any size water bottle for the first phase of this project at the FIGMENT event on Governors Island June 12-14, 2009. Help donate to this cause and turn your trash into an eco-art installation.

Download this pdf (same as jpeg image below) and use it to collect water bottles in your building!
File:RecycleYourWaterBottles Flyer.pdf

RecycleYourWaterBottles Flyer.jpg

Drop off bottles at MSLK's Studio:
23-23 33rd Road, Astoria/LIC
You can drop off anytime - 24/7. No need to even ring the bell. Please drop off at the basement door.

Misc Stats

Gallon "milk" jugs on string: 5' = 22 jugs
Square (2.5 gal) bottles on conduit: 4' = 10 bottles
1/4" wood drill bit is the easiest for making the correct holes in the water bottles.

Testing Photos

from 4/25/09
Sample Figment Strands of 22 gallon jugs on rope

Sample Figment Strands of personal 8 oz bottles on airplane wire


Sample Burning Man modules, 2.5 gallon containers slid onto 1" x 3" plywood
Burning ManUnlit.JPG
Unlit bottles showing two rows stacked

4 lit bottles



Early BM Sketches:
WaterShed small.jpg


Watershed was displayed at FIGMENT 2009 on Governors Island. More details: Web design agency Link Building Services Forum Posting Services SEO Services







Early references of similar projects.