The element of water and human memory appear, at first glance, to have little in common – yet in their behaviour they reveal strong similarities – e.g. they are dynamic, mixable, react to their surroundings…

In a psychological approach, there are more similarities to be discovered: both substances aren’t easy to control by humans, they tend to change aspect from helpful to threatening.

Linguistically, the physical substance (water) is often used as a metaphor for the mental substance (memory). What does this imply? Is our personal memory like a source feeding the sea of collective memory? Is our personal and cultural identity based on a fluid substance?
Linking the terms differently: Water is a carrier of mineral material, pollutants, bacteria etc.; it is a good electric conductor – to what extent does water have a memory?

RESERVOIR attempts to track the similiarities of behaviour, psychological and metaphorical aspect by means of a variety of audiovisual media and scientific disciplines, thereby exploring what this affinity could signify for us, and where the boundaries between the two lie.

The fruits of our research are presented to the public in June/July 2016 by means of an exhibition in Vienna and a publication with texts and catalogue of artistic contributions. The supporting programme during the exhibition includes public discussions and performances.