Silt Study: Ohio River Basin

No Longer Available




Temperature Data for one of 18 river basins in the continental US, hemp, organic cotton dyed with plant - and insect derived dyes and mineral mordant, petrochemical - derived fishing line


18" x 18"


Silt—tiny particles of eroded rocks and mineral—are carried by flowing water, eventually deposited elsewhere as sediment. When ecosystems are polluted, silt goes from benign to destructive, carrying with it the toxins it is exposed to as it moves from one part of a watershed to another. As the detritus of our human life on land runs downstream and then circulates back through bodies, watersheds are one window into the interdependence of ecological and human health.

 In each woven Silt Study, temperature data for one of the 18 major US watersheds is materialized as hand-dyed, color-coded cotton. In my translation of the data, 126 years takes form as 18 rows of color, each row an average of 7 years of temperature. I interweave these plant-derived fibers with petrochemical-derived fishing line, drawing connections between rising temperatures, petrochemical extraction, and the buildup of toxic plastics in the earth and our bodies. Up close, one can see the warp threads curving as they travel through the wefts, the arc of the threads evoking a gentle wave, the bend of a river, the force of being moved by alternating plant and petrochemical material.

About this Artist

Tali Weinberg

Tali Weinberg

Weinberg’s work is held in public and private collections and is exhibited internationally. Recent exhibitions include the University of Colorado Art Museum, 21C Museum, Berkeley Art Museum, 108 Contemporary, and the Center for Craft. Her work has been written about in the New York Times, Surface Design Journal, the Tulsa Voice and literary Journal Ecotone. Select honors include: Tulsa Artist Fellowship, Serenbe Fellowship, SciArt Bridge, Windgate Fellowship to Vermont Studio Center, Lia Cook Jacquard Residency, Museum of Art & Design virtual artist residency, and Sculpture Space, among others. Weinberg has taught at California College of the Arts, University of Tulsa, Penland School of Craft, and lectures and gives workshops throughout the US. She is currently a 2022 Illinois Artist Fellow.   I draw on a history of weaving as a subversive language for women and marginalized groups to create a feminist, material archive in response to worsening climate crisis. The…
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