Taking Somerset House's close relationship with the River Thames and Victoria Embankment as its starting point, By the deep, by the mark takes you on a journey through a three dimensional mind-map of sculptures, audiovisual displays, medical hardware and archival materials, suggesting playful parallels between extraordinary feats of civil engineering and the intricate inner workings of the human body.
Looking to the past and future sewage systems that keep London clean and its population healthy, Hawser charts attempts throughout the ages to reclaim the Thames as a space for leisure, rather than industry, from Joseph Bazalgette's 19th century sewer system to the Thames Tideway 'Super Sewer' project.
The installation weaves together pioneering works of civil engineering with remarkable innovations in medical science. Featuring maps, models and measurements of the River Thames alongside cutting-edge diagnostic 'phantoms' (specialist machines rarely seen outside of a hospital or laboratory which are used to calibrate medical imaging equipment and analyse fluid dynamics within the body), By the deep, by the mark draws together two seemingly unrelated disciplines of civil and medical engineering, suggesting a correlation between revolutionary urban and medical innovations in the way they measure, process and predict mysterious natural and bodily phenomena.
By reanimating the past and mapping the present, Hawser presents both of these industries as the result of our fear of pollution and disease and the desire for control over our bodily processes.
The work is the result of nearly two years of research and artistic production whilst in residence onsite and offers a unique insight into Hawser's creative practice.