Image: Still from IT IS A GOOD PROJECT AND SHOULD BE BUILT by Fred Schmidt-Arenales, 2024. Courtesy of the artist


Friday May 10, 2024


97 Kenmare Street

New York, NY



Drawing upon artist Fred Schmidt-Arenales’ methods of collapsing unstaged and scripted performance, IF THE WATER GETS IN is an evening of acts by a constellation of participants in dialogue with the themes explored within IT IS A GOOD PROJECT AND SHOULD BE BUILT, currently on view at Storefront. It will encompass a re-staging of “Basin Girl” by Canal Street Research Association as a way to engage with New York’s history as a marshland, a discussion between Kate Boicourt from the Environmental Defense Fund and Jacqueline Klopp from the Center of Sustainable Urban Development at Columbia University on the ecological issues echoed in the exhibition, and a live performance of the original score and “Opera” scene by the film’s composer, Jacob Brunner and musicians. 



About the Performers

Canal Street Research Association was founded in 2020 in an empty storefront on Canal Street, New York’s counterfeit epicenter. Delving into the cultural and material ecologies of the street and its long history as a site that probes the limits of ownership and authorship, the association repurposes underused real estate as spaces for gathering ephemeral histories, mapping local lore, and tracing the flows and fissures of capital. They have occupied storefronts, empty office buildings, and storage units—and are currently located in a basement under Canal Street.


The fictional office entity is operated by Shanzhai Lyric (Ming Lin and Alex Tatarsky), a poetic research and roving archival unit that take inspiration from 山寨 (shanzhai or counterfeit) goods to examine how bootlegs use mimicry, hybridity, and permutation to both revel in and reveal the artifice of global hierarchies.

Karl Blau continues to blaze trails in country-infused grunge with jazz underpinnings and overtones. Since 1996 he has released over 40 of his own records and toured/recorded with numerous other artists, including the Microphones/Mount Eerie, Laura Veirs, Little Wings, D+, and Earth. He has a new genre-bent album—made in a studio he calls Andy’s Room (based in hometown Germantown, Philadelphia)—forthcoming on Philly/LA label Otherly Love Records. 


Kate Boicourt a director for the Climate Resilient Coasts and Watersheds team at the Environmental Defense Fund. She works within EDF’s Climate Resilient Coasts and Watersheds team to foster partnerships to collectively advocate for comprehensive, evidence-based and equitable policies and investments that build resilience for all in New York, New Jersey and beyond.


Previously, she was the Director of Resilience for Waterfront Alliance. In this role, she spearheaded Rise to Resilience, a multi-year campaign and coalition for resilience in the NY-NJ region, as well as the development of WEDG (Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines) into a national rating system and education program for excellence in waterfront design. Prior to that, she served as the restoration program manager for the NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program (HEP), where she focused on coastal issues related to restoration, public access, and climate change.

Jacob Brunner is a composer, songwriter, and producer from Philadelphia. He studied anthropology with Michael Taussig and music theory with Fabien Lévy and Charlie Looker (Extra Life, Zs). His work draws from contemporary classical music, ethnomusicology, structured randomness, and various forms of transformative mimesis (sampling, folk music, cut-up techniques). Since 2006 he has released music under the name Strawberry Hands; collaborated with songwriters such as Weyes Blood, Little Wings, and Thanksgiving; and scored for film, theater, and art installations.

Chris Covatta is a multi-disciplinary artist living and creating between Philadelphia and Brooklyn. His recent projects include co-producing the new Karl Blau record (Otherly Love Records), collaborating with Strawberry Hands, and producing a variety of visual works.

Jacqueline Klopp is the Director of Center for Sustainable Urban Development at Columbia University. She is a Research Scholar who explores the intersection of sustainable transport, land use, accountability, data and technology. Klopp is the author of numerous academic and popular articles on land and the politics of infrastructure with a focus on Africa and is increasingly exploring the potential of new technologies to impact transportation and land-use in the 21st Century. Prior to joining CSUD Jacqueline Klopp was an Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and Director of the Economic and Political Development Concentration where she taught the politics of international development and oversaw student workshops across the globe. She currently teaches in the Sustainable Development undergraduate program at Columbia University.

Alexandra Venzke is a musician and native Houstonian currently working in New York. She is a classically trained vocalist, early childhood music specialist, and accomplished session singer. Alexandra has considerable experience performing both as a soloist and in ensembles across many genres and musical styles. She is passionate about cultivating community and collaboration. Recent collaborators include a visual artist inspired to paint to recordings of her singing, a film maker that has included her singing original music with custom costuming, and songwriters who have her perform and record their original music. She teaches private and group music lessons, produces musical, performance arts, and fashion events and sings with Pride Chorus Houston.