Water (Deshkan Ziibi)


12-hour event organized by Christof Migone.

“Water (Deshkan Ziibi)” is curated by Christof Migone, Sheri Osden Nault and Ruth Skinner.

In-person and streaming from the artLAB at the Department of Visual Arts, Western University, London, Ontario.

The fifth in a series of twelve annual events taking place on December 12 from noon to midnight EST (9-9 PST, 11-11 CST, 17-05 GMT, 18-06 CET, 1-13 CST, 2-14 KST).

Each year the event moves through each word of the 12-word phrase you and I are water earth fire air of life and death and activates the word of the year in myriad ways.

The first year it started with ‘YOU’, then in 2021 ‘AND’ came to connect you to anything and everything, and in 2022 that point of connection was ‘I’—the porous one, the sole collective. With ‘ARE’ in 2023, action entered the fray.

This year, with ‘water’, we keep moving, the action is never ending. Time’s involved. Time runs through it.

Hydrophonics, hydrojams. Glistening gestures. Swimsink. Cloud seeding, drought, contamination, advisories. Nautical sea, nausea. Leagues under. Deep diver. Pearl mother. Mariana. We quickly see this could go on forever, for, as Yve Lomax put it in Sounding the Event: “Yes, this noisy restless sea is pure multiplicity: it is mixture, it is contingency and it is turbulent.” Or, put even more succinctly, as Italo Calvino’s Mr. Palomar realizes: “isolating a wave is not easy.”

This year’s event, the 5th edition in the 12-part annual series, will willingly wade the time away, in eddies, in sinks, in drains, in backwaters, through root systems, capillaries, infiltrating, inundating our “humid brains” (Isabelle Stengers).

Out of the blue, blue planet, into the molecular, cellular.

The last 20 minutes of every hour will feature 12 bodies of water as part of the Place (Dis) series. A body of water may be an ocean, a sea, a glacier, a lake, a river, a stream, a steam, a swamp, a well, a swell, a pond, a puddle, a spittle, a sniffle, a rill, a creek, a tear, a molecule.

It may be part of a flood or spill, a drip or drop. It may be dammed, bottled, glassed. It can flow, freeze, steam, or boil. It can help grow or drown. It can wave or stagnate. It can be part of juice, tea, coffee, sauce. It can cause mould or just be moist. It can seep, leak, ooze.

A body of water is a place that displaces.

“The Anishinaabek People refer to the Thames River as Deshkan Ziibi (which means Antler River in Ojibwe / Anishnaabemowin language). The river has also been called Askunessippi (Antlered River) by the Neutrals and La Tranchée (later La Tranche, which means the Trench) by early French explorers, settlers and fur traders. In 1793, Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe named the river the Thames River after the River Thames in England.” (Source: Upper Thames River Conservation Authority).

Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, and Neutral (Chonnonton) peoples, on lands connected to several Treaties including Treaty 6 London Township, Treaty 7 Sombra Township, Treaty 21 Longwoods and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. This place continues to be home to diverse Indigenous peoples who are recognized as contemporary stewards of the land and vital contributors to society.




– Link to main info page on the 12-year project here.

– Link to project site here.

– Link to project page for the 2024 edition here.


1st edition, December 12, 2020
– Link to archive of YouTube livestream here.

2nd edition, December 12, 2021
– Link to archive of YouTube livestream here.

3rd edition, December 12, 2022
– Link to archive of YouTube livestream here.

4th edition, December 12, 2023
– Link to archive of YouTube livestream here.

5th edition, December 12, 2024