Sensing Change: HighWaterLine

What would your community look like if sea levels rose by 10 feet?

Conceptualized by Eve Mosher, HighWaterLine traces a chalk line through neighborhoods increasingly threatened by flooding. A part of the 2014 Philadelphia Science Festival and the Institute’s yearlong Sensing Change initiative, HighWaterLine sought to demonstrate the impact of climate change and rising sea levels on three of Philadelphia’s riverfront neighborhoods and the city at large.

Anyone coming to the HighWaterLine project has some personal story that they can tell about their community, or about their own experience with extreme weather events, or about their knowledge of climate change. There’s some sort of story about themselves that they can use as the starting point of telling a story.

—Eve Mosher

In HighWaterLine, a performance piece, Eve Mosher traces a chalk line at 10 feet above sea level. She first drew this line in New York City in 2007, marking over 70 miles of coastline that would be affected by increased flooding. The location of the line is based on mapping and statistical data and brings art directly to a community, creating conversation with people living in or using areas threatened by the effects of climate change.

Mosher reflected on the predictive nature of her project after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 flooded many of her marked areas. Mosher has worked with local communities to bring HighWaterLine to places like Dublin, Miami, and, in partnership with the Science History Institute, to Philadelphia.

Eve Mosher is an artist and interventionist based in New York City. Her work is public and engages audiences in dialogue with the changing landscape around them while raising cultural and social issues related to the history of place.

In an interview with our staff, Mosher discussed HighWaterLine’s history and future, as well as how similar projects can give people their own tools to make observations about the environment and to take action.


    Copy the above HTML to republish this content. We have formatted the material to follow our guidelines, which include our credit requirements. Please review our full list of guidelines for more information. By republishing this content, you agree to our republication requirements.