February 22, 2024 – June 1, 2024
Groundwater Earth: The World Before and After the Tubewell
Groundwater Earth tells the hidden history of the largest distributed mass of freshwater on the planet. The fruits of groundwater are all around us: nearly half the global population drinks it and over half of all crops are irrigated with it. Groundwater extraction technologies are to agriculture and urban growth what the elevator was to the booming American metropolis of the early twentieth century. The exhibition traces for the first time the preposterous, practical, and perilous experiments with groundwater. It focuses on the Indo-Gangetic plains and Sonoran Desert—two major sites of experimentation with groundwater extraction since the nineteenth century. Combining over a decade of fieldwork in the Americas and Asia, with archival research undertaken in three continents and vast amounts of data collected using remote sensing satellites, Groundwater Earth examines the scales and slow-motion impacts of groundwater extraction on the tilt of the earth to the shape of cities and farms.
The Yale School of Architecture’s exhibition program is supported in part by the Robert A.M. Stern Fund, the Pickard Chilton Dean’s Resource Fund, the Nitkin Family Dean’s Discretionary Fund in Architecture, the Fred Koetter Exhibitions Fund, the Kibel Foundation Fund, and the James Wilder Green Dean’s Resource Fund.