My Relation to Water

My Relation to Water, Exercises in the Laboratory

Reflections on the course ‘Environment. Now!’
By: Pia Lindman – Professor of Environmental Art

This session aimed at discovering and developing our personal relationship to the smallest, invisible, entities of organic and inorganic life in our world. This is a way to widen the scope of belonging to a world, and respecting all beings and things of that world.


  • Shawn Wilson “Research is Ceremony”: Ceremony is a method to investigate one’s relations not only to other humans but other beings in the world.
  • Environmental Test Kit
  • Laboratory Workbook, Determination of the Quality Parameters of Water
    Water samples taken the week before at Suomenoja Coal Power Plant, Espoo

Students learned how to take a water sample, how to make initial quality assessment by impressions: check its color, smell the water, even taste it, shake the bottle and measure the time the particles in the water need to settle, compare amount of sedimentation to amount of water.

Then students proceed to sample the water with several chemicals (salts, acids, and bases) that make the existing chemicals in the water sample react in different ways: the sample turns yellow, blue, magenta, etc.

So far, students have been engaged with techniques of measuring and comparing by current protocols defined by natural science.

Surprisingly enough, these measuring techniques always engage human senses (visuals, smell, taste, and again, after alterations, color i.e., visual)

Next, we continued by expanding the scope of human senses to assess the quality of water: drawing from Lynn Margulis, I speak of the microbes and other organisms moving around in the water – mostly invisible to human eye. I speak of the electric and electromagnetic tensions and currents moving around in the water due to microbes and other organisms as well as chemical inorganic agents (for instance, salts). Similar processes take place in our own bodies all the time. In terms of hosting organisms, inorganic agents, and electromagnetic resonances, our bodies are quite similar to the water in the bottle. How do we sense these processes – in our own bodies and in the bottle?

Exercise: Take your water bottle into your hands, cradle it, or lift it to your face, or a part of your body that you want to use to sense the water in the bottle. Can you feel the energy of the water? Does it change when you say something, sing, heat the bottle with your hands, etc?