A Merced de Las Olas

45 feet x 35 feet x 10 feet
13,7 meters x 10,66 meters x 3 meters
31 bottles of freshwater submerged in
modified salt water from the Cantábrico Sea
as installed at Casario Santa Lucia, part of Divergentes
Zumaia-Gipuzkoa, Basque Country/Spain

Collaborating with the Basque marine research company AZTI, in A Merced de Las Olas (At the Mercy of the Waves) thirty one bottles half-filled with water from a Basque spring were carried by boat from the shore of Zumaia to the the “edge of the earth” (the location where due to the curvature of the earth, no more of the sea can be seen from land) in the Cantábrico Sea. With expert data and assistance from AZTI oceanographers, the bottles were released on this arc precisely at a point in the open sea that resulted in them floating back to shore following the currents to exactly where we started from. The journey of the bottles were carefully monitored by sophisticated GPS tracking systems and by specialized personnel. After the bottles washed ashore, they were then collected from Itzurun Beach and brought across the street to the museum where each bottle was placed in a tank of salt water (from the same sea that they had floated across on). The water in each of the thirty one tanks which were placed in the formation of an “X” in the space, was scientifically altered to match the salinity levels of thirty one corresponding seas throughout the world.