digital illustration of a kayak oar with symbols of electricity bolts radiating from the paddle

Water Radio: Liquid Intelligence

Water Radio: Liquid Intelligence is a series of participatory performances during kayak outings along Miami’s canals. This immersive audiovisual theater is designed for audiences of 1-10 people. The audience does not observe the action, rather they participate in making meaning through embodied interaction. Participants travel, share stories, listen, and respond to the sounds of nature underwater.

Water Radio’s main kayak will be outfitted with underwater microphones and environmental sensors to transmit sound art and music through a live radio stream. During these intimate, contemplative events, participants will experience hidden ecology as it is made audible. They’re also invited to make songs, poems, audio postcards, and cyanotype animations processed with canal water. This project extends participants’ sensory understanding of place, and allows people to explore nature in an urban setting. Water Radio’s citizen scientists will also collect data like temperature changes in order to assist research scientists.

Canals control and divert water to prevent flooding in urbanized areas. The canal system will become an important focal point for Miami residents facing climate crisis and sea level rise. Miami-Dade’s canals are already popular with urban anglers, but most people don’t consider the important role of these human-made waterways in the natural ecosystem. Water Radio will engage more residents with this unique feature of our landscape. This project explores the canal system as an environmental habitat, a transportation alternative, and as recreational space. It will improve people’s understanding about the history, current function, and potential future of the canals. Participants will connect with the water to share their hopes and fears about Miami’s liquid future.