Proposal by: Mariko Hori

Archive something we don't know yet

Project Proposal: Understanding water conditions through paper making

This project is a study and a little hope to archive potential data of current water conditions of Amsterdam, for future generations.


Collage as paper research - Mariko Hori showing her research for making an archive of the underwater world around us.  Photo by Mariko Hori Mariko Hori

Project description

I would like to experiment with a sort of collage works which will be made with the traditional paper making technique, by using water in Amsterdam ( rain, Oosterdok, canals and possibly including some particles from the living creatures, waste, and many other things which are floating in the water ) during the process. 

For example, technologies, such as eDNA determination, could develop much further in the coming years and when the time comes, it might be possible to use this work in order to look into the information on water in the current period. It could play a role of a letter from the past which could tell something very precise and also very imaginative. Perhaps already after 10 years, it could tell even more things which we can not imagine at this moment.

Possible ways to expand the project

Sometimes, a body of water have to be changed in order to protect human beings from disasters that our activities may have caused. No one can be sure how it will change the conditions of the water and biodiversity, neither if we will miss the past in the future. I am interested in developing this project deeper and finding a good method to archive things in between realistic ( scientific ) and imaginative ( artistic ) way. Attempting to archive something without focusing on specific matters ( but with lots of hopes ) could have wider possibility.

I hope to continue this project regularly and for longer period, and also I wish this project could be useful in divers and even unexpected ways for the next generation. My first goal is to find the best method to produce the work, and to set a sort of format to continue making it for the coming future. It might also be interesting to hold workshops at Mediamatic to keep the archive going on a regular basis.

Personal introduction

Mariko Hori (1985 ) is a Japanese visual artist based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and sometimes in Belgrade, Serbia.

She studied architecture, but was more attracted by the aesthetic aspects of the deterioration of buildings through ageing than she was by contemporary or innovative building techniques. She was particularly interested in the strong sense of an enduring existence that attaches to old buildings and artefacts.

In her subsequent career as an artist, her interests have revolved around the concept of ‘atmosphere’ and things that are difficult to create new, such as the sense of existence, common sense, intersubjectivity, or things which could sound imaginative and real at the same time.

Her works, consisting mainly of installations, often study alternative atmospheric experiences and communication through modest yet intentional placement of carefully chosen objects to give texture to the space and time between structures.


Estimated costs

time for development, research and experiment : 6 months 
material costs : 1000€ 
contribution towards development, research and experiment : 2500 €

This proposal is part of the 'Penny for your Thoughts' project 2022.