Hydrologic Unit Code 071200 (Nibi Ezhi-Nisidawaabanjigaade Ozhibii’igewin 071200)

Five television screens are hanging next to each other on a white wall. The screens show strips of videos spliced together, all in shades of blue and white.

Hydrologic Unit Code 071200 by Andrea Carlson and Rozalinda Borcilă, 2022

Multi-channel video, loop. Courtesy of the artists © Andrea Carlson, Rozalinda Borcilă Installation photography by Charlie Edwards, courtesy of the University of Michigan Museum of Art

About the Art

Andrea Carlson
Anishinaabe; Gichimookomaanakiing, 1979 gaa-ondaadizi
Rozalinda Borcilă
Romania, 1971 gaa-ondaadizi

Nibi Ezhi-Nisidawaabanjigaade Ozhibii’igewin 071200
Anoonji mazinaatesewan, zazagwana
Nimiigwechiwenimaanaanig Gaazheninjigejig
Mishigami Gichigabegikendaasowigamig izhi-Ganawendaanaawaan Gaazheninjigaadeg waabanda’inegwaa ge Wayekwaajiwan izhiseg wenji-nanaandomangidwaa Gaazheninjigejig

Andrea Carlson gaye Rozalinda Borcilă ogii-ozhitoonaawaa o’o daa-waabanjigaadeg nibikaan- adaawewin miziwe ateg Chigaagong, dash gwayak-izhinikaadeg Nibi Ezhi-Nisidawaabanjigaade Ozhibii’igewin (HUC) 071200. Nibikaan-adaawewin dash oshki-nisidawaabanjigaadewan, dash giizheninjigaadeg wii-adaawaaniwang. Mii dash nibikaan-adaawewining, mazina’ige-adaawanidiwin aabajichigaadeg dash izhi-adaawewaad nibikaan banaajichigaadewin (odaapinigaade) gaye nibikaan adaawewin (dagonigaade). Dibishkoo akakanakide-adaawewin, nibikaan-adaawewin dash aabajichigaadeg wii-banaajitoowaad nibikaanan: giishpin anoonji nibikaanan banaajichigaadeg, owii-adaawewag anoonji.

Chigaagong oodena dash gaa giizheninjigaade ge aanjitoowaad dezhiikejig nibikaanan wii-ozhitoowaad aabajichiganan. Ako bezhig dash nibikaan-adaawewin gaa-giizheninjigaade Gichimookomaanakiing HUC 071200-ing gaye dash akina ishkwaayaaj gaa-giizheninjigaadeg dibishkoo i’iw. Nibikaan-wedaawejig HUC 071200-ing idamowaad ge noojimotoowaad nibikaanan daa-waabanjigaaddeg “jibwaa dezhiikejig bi-ayaawaad.” Aanawi dash, Carlson and Borcilă ogiizhenindaanaawaa ge dezhiikejin wayezhingenid dash waabanda’amowaad gegeti-inakamigaag gaye geyaabi dezhiikejin gagwe-amanisookiinid noongom.

Andrea Carlson
Ojibwe; United States, born 1979
Rozalinda Borcilă
Romania, born 1971

Hydrologic Unit Code 071200
Multi-channel video, loop
Courtesy of the artists
Commissioned by the University of Michigan Museum of Art for Watershed

Andrea Carlson and Rozalinda Borcilă’s video installation presents an encounter with wetland banks scattered throughout Chicago’s wetland market, the legal name for which is Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) 071200. Wetland banks are a new kind of wetscape, constructed specifically to generate stacks of financial assets (credits) that can be bought and sold in specialized markets. Across a region called a wetland market, credit swapping allows speculators to trade wetland destruction (debit) in one place for wetland banking (credit) in another. Like carbon offsets, wetland banking exacerbates the very environmental destruction it claims to mitigate: the more wetland destruction, the greater the expansion of wetland markets. The first entirely speculative wetland bank in the United States was built in HUC 071200 and it became the blueprint for the federal rollout of wetland markets.

The city of Chicago itself emerged through the violent transformation of Indigenous wetlands into dry parcels of real estate and a canal system. Wetland bankers across HUC 071200 state their developments are restorations of “pre-settlement-conditions.” However, Carlson and Borcilă conceptualize this geography as “the present future tense of settler colonialism–a river that is a hydraulically engineered canal system, a watershed that is a wetland credit market.” Through their stacked landscapes, the artists consider how systems of monetization perpetuate the violent colonization of Indigenous lands.

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