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The Future as an Index/Indexing the Future: Storage, Value, and Water Management in Los Angeles

Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 12 PM PST

As climate change brings more rain volatility and unpredictability to Los Angeles, policy makers, engineers, and business owners are having to rethink established approaches to water supply. Storage is emerging as a favored solution for managing this volatility; its forms reflect evolving ideas about value – present and future – and ways to maximize value capture through time.


In this program inspired by the newly commissioned public sculpture by Alexandre Dorriz, Nadia Christidi led a talk that indexed transformations in water ‘storage’. This included weaving stories of concrete infrastructure developments like stormwater to capture projects that manage supply volatility and remake the city, and abstract financial tools like water futures that manage price volatility and remake the market. These stories were used to think through questions on water, value, and temporality, and to speculate on these in a climate-changed future.


This program was organized by Jamie Costa.

About Nadia Christidi


Nadia Christidi is a researcher, writer, and arts practitioner based between Cambridge, MA and Beirut, Lebanon. Nadia is currently a PhD candidate in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society at MIT, where she researches how cities that face water supply challenges, which are expected to intensify with climate change, are imagining, planning, and preparing for the future of water. The cities she focuses on are Los Angeles, Dubai, and Cape Town. Nadia’s work has been exhibited at Beirut Art Center, SALT Galata (Istanbul), SALT Ulus (Ankara), and Kunsthaus Hamburg, and published by ArteEast and ArtAsiaPacific. She was recently awarded a research and writing residency with the Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai, for which she developed public programming and a publication (forthcoming) on Dubai’s water resources and water management cultures. Nadia holds an MA in Historical Studies from the New School for Social Research, NY, and a BA in History of Art from Bryn Mawr College, PA.

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