Baltimore and its Port are part of a complex estuarine environment where legacies of labor, innovation, and ecological justice overlap. Every year in this dynamic environment, natural and anthropogenic siltation processes infill waterways and navigation channels, necessitating the removal of 1.5 million cubic yards of sediment from the Baltimore Harbor. These clays, silts, sands, and gravels are regulated by layers of state and federal legislation and perceived predominantly as a waste product by the public. Yet, they are also the substrate of our coastal cities and foundation of healthy coastal ecosystems.
The Sediment Futures installation aims to provide the public an immersive and engaging experience that explores the aesthetics and agency of dredged material – a substance that exists in literal and figurative suspension; trapped materially between land and water, confined geographically to unseen disposal sites on the public periphery, and misunderstood ecologically. However, in a rapidly changing world where rising seas, surging storms, and subsiding coasts are the new normal, dredged material holds a unique potency and potentiality for public landscape and community resiliency.