In 2014 the city of Flint, Michigan decided (while under emergency financial management)to enact a cost-saving measure that temporarily switched the municipal water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. The pH of this new water interacted toxically with Flint’s aging infrastructure, resulting in the mass lead-poisoning of a large cross-section of an already embattled citizenry. Despite numerous complaints raised by consumers immediately following the switch, Flint city authorities continued to reassure residents that the water was safe to drink well into the following year, when it came to light that in fact the water contained lead levels that were, in some cases, dozens or hundreds of times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s safety threshold. Flint officials have also been implicated in fatal outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease due tothe contaminated water.
Fast-forward to 2017. Though issues with the water source and wider system have ostensibly been corrected, there are lingering concerns about the damage continuing as a result of the destabilized chemistry in the pipes of residential homes, not to mention the damaged trust of a citizenry that is reluctant to believe anyofficial word from the city at this point, and the catastrophic implications of a generation of Flint children impacted by lead poisoning and listeria, while research about other complications is ongoing. Still, publicattention paid to Flint waned amid so many other disasters — who can keep up?
Enter Chicago-based social practice artist Pope.L, who came to Detroit by invitation of experimental gallery What Pipeline to perform an intervention of his choosing. He chose to use his platform and cachet as an artist tohighlight the ongoing concerns of Flint residents with the Flint Water Project.
“Flint is a touchstone, sure, but so it Detroit and Newark, NJ, and so many municipalities that have a history of struggle,” Pope.L wrotein an email toHyperallergic. The outreach was, according to the artist, “relatively easy — we had excellent contacts, for example, Sandra Jones and her husband, Bishop Roger Jones of Greater Holy Temple Church of God, one of the three main centers supported by United Way of Genesee County.”
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.