Writing on Water
About
Research
A Story for the Worthy

My research has begun with the idea of using ephemerality as a tool to share information. As we see in many instances with information sharing tools and services, what we set out to the world to see is usually permanent. Various platforms can be set as an example: Printed media like books, magazines, posters, or less traditional and informal online tools like texting services, social media, etc. Some of these tools like Snapchat has been designed to be ephemeral in its own way by implementing a lifespan on the shared information. Still, none of these tools create a real barrier between the giver and the receiver. If the information is already out there, the viewer can access it without having to do much work to possess it. The giver is the one who does the work, and the receiver picks it from the many available contents. In the written format, the receiver holds the power.

In daily life, the power dynamic is reversed. The sharer picks the recipient of their information carefully. A relationship and a sense of trust are necessary for more delicate stories. Contrary to the written format, the giver has the upper hand.

Writing on Water is a personal project and a methodology reflecting on this discrepancy, to simulate the information sharing of the spoken word, and to change the relationship between the reader and the writer. Though it focuses on a specific story, this approach can (and may) be used for other stories, with different materials. This story was told by handwriting on a stack of paper using water instead of ink so the words disappear within seconds after being written down. With this, the writer gains some of the power she loses. The story is still being shared but only the worthy will ever read it because the text is only available to the viewer who is diligent and attentive. And after all, only the water damaged paper is left behind.