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At the pre-event to Wrecked in the Intertidal Zone, YoHa were at last week’s Marine Festival in Leigh on Sea, asking people to consider the possibilities of using the Estuary’s plants, and through consuming them, to think about other ways to get involved.

‘We invited people to ‘smoke, eat and monitor the Thames estuary’, filling e-cigs with flavours and flowers of the river. An airborne interface that physically belongs to the molecular scale, using aerosols and mist to dive into the sensorial experience that occurs naturally in the thin membranes of many sea-plants. Fran Gallardo offered visitors a taste of the salt marshes sweet delicacies collected from Two Tree Island – a former municipal tip that will nourish your desire for Essex in all it’s wild abandon; Tom introduced delightful methods for DIY essential oil distilling from local flora; and Andy presented upcoming citizen science and monitoring initiatives to help save his home in Southend-on-sea from flooding and pollution.’

This is a pre-event for the forthcoming project “Wrecked in the Intertidal Zone”.

This endeavour is led by YoHa and The Arts Catalyst, involving a network of local peoples knowledge mixed up with international and UK based artists and technologists who are responding to a troubled Thames Estuary and in its surrounding salt-marsh – aka UK’s most productive ecosystem. Its marsh, tidal flats and mud waters are critical wilderness zones for biodiversity conservation and species migration. Simultaneously, they are also interpreted as infrastructures for leisure and tourism, historic brown-fields, a container port or a potential airport. By fostering an ecology of practices, this project aims to generate a critical interest in the complex influences governing these delicate environments.

Through a series of public artworks, participatory workshops, and social media outlets, Wrecked in the Intertidal Zone will profile ways of structuring information from both local, situated knowledge (bird watchers, fisherman or mud-walks), as well as from verifiable methods (monitoring networks and ambient sensors). In doing so, it seeks to engage critically with investigative yet playful forms in which the Estuary can flourish and thrive.

Find out more about YoHa and the project here.