What is Drip?

New Orleans is a Delta City, but the water is almost invisible. Water simultaneously sustains and threatens New Orleans, but its power, meaning, and vital infrastructure are unknown to most residents.  Drip reveals the mystery of water in New Orleans slowly, through just one sense: the sound of water.  Between river and lake, life depends upon a delicate balance between culture, economy, and natural systems.  Will we hide from our water?  Or will we listen?

Listen to Drip: The Music of Water, now playing at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans from June 25th to September 25th, 2011.

View the Drip Press Release

Purchase the Drip book or download the PDF for free


Drip is a symphony of sounds of water and water-related activities recorded around New Orleans.  Sound and light emanate through a fabric enclosure suspended from the ceiling of a prominent but unused space at the Union Passenger Terminal.  Visitors can walk around, under, and through the complex shape, listening to Drip while the installation also listens to them.  Sound-sensitive LEDs react to both the field recordings and sounds made by visitors, creating an environment that varies constantly between serene and chaotic.  Sometimes the lights flicker for a single dripping faucet, and other times they flash wildly when a steamboat whistle punctuates a bustling oyster bar, a drawbridge in motion, and splashes in a swimming pool.

While Drip is site-specific and composed of the sounds of New Orleans, the basic themes at play can be broadly applied.  Issues of water infrastructure, ecological restoration, management of finite resources, and social justice related to disparities in access to potable water are increasingly important all over the world.  Drip is a step toward a public dialogue – and ultimately solutions – for these common challenges.

Dripnola.com is a catalogue of recordings, photos, and other media related to the designers’ audio-based search for New Orleans’ hidden water.  They hope to keep Drip active with more recordings and future exhibitions.

The Drip installation is on view upstairs at the New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal (Site 03)  every night from December 4th through 12th, 6:00-10:00pm, as part of Des Cours 2010.

View the Des Cours 2010 Event Map and Guide.

Listen to an interview about DesCours and Drip with Melissa Urcan, Executive Director of the AIA New Orleans on WWNO 89.9 FM

Union Passenger Terminal
1001 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70113

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