Why reimagine?

In 2016, the International Union of Geological Sciences will decide whether or not human impact on the Earth constitutes a new geologic epoch – the Anthropocene. If agreed upon, this epoch will acknowledge the effects human agency has upon the stratigraphic record, and the implications of a human-driven world.

Reimagining the River brings the global Anthropocene to the City of Indianapolis by creating an outdoor museum about the White River. This museum exhibit will display the past, present, and future of the White River, showcasing the historical narrative of the human-river relationship.

Exploring the Anthropocene through the story of the White River will encourage our audience to develop a sense of responsibility for the intertwined state of the River and humans. We will accomplish this by helping the audience to recognize the impact individual and collective human action has on Indianapolis’ urban environment. By building a community that understands what the river was and now is, we will encourage this community to reimagine what they want the river to become.


  • Increase community awareness of the intertwined relationship between humans and their surroundings.
  • Educate audiences on the historical narrative between the White River and the city of Indianapolis.
  • Encourage audiences to take an active role in the future of the White River.


  • Illustrate how individual and collective actions both shape and are shaped by the state of the White River.
  • Develop a community that understands what the White River was and is so that they will reimagine what it can become.
  • Discuss that human decisions have both intended and unintended consequences on the White River and Indianapolis’ urban environment.
  • Inspire the audience to change their daily lives in consideration of the effects their individual actions have.