John Duckworth


1056 kING STREET    |    CHARLESTON, SC    |    MAY-JUNE 2017

Duckworth’s 2017 installation Wade in the Water contained a projected slideshow of diptychs created to demonstrate visual parallels between the effects of climate change in downtown Charleston and Antarctica. The photographs on the left, of the slides above, come from Garrett Budds who accompanied polar explorer and environmentalist Sir Robert Swan on an expedition to Antarctica. The photographs on the right, of the slides above, come from Charleston based photographer John Gaulden who has been documenting the impacts of sea level rise in Charleston.

Wade in the Water is an on-going exhibition focusing on portraying the interconnectedness between the environment and human impact. Duckworth reflects on this relationship saying:

“We are so disconnected from nature that we have forgotten that we are nature.  Once this relationship is personally acknowledged, people tend to perceive the world differently; we begin to practice life more harmoniously with the rest of the natural world. We should be curious about our role in the larger ecosystem and our innate connection to it all.  Our actions have consequences and we, as a species, have the unique ability to consider this and respond accordingly.  The creativity and ingenuity of the human spirit is boundless, let’s surprise each other.”

To contribute to John Duckworth’s ongoing climate change conversation leave a voicemail. You are invited to leave thoughts and reflections in whatever means you desire, be it a story, song, poem, feeling, fear, statement, etc. Your contribution could be used in further presentations of the Wade in the Water , as part of an original smart-phone activated locative audio presentation.


look, listen, and lend your voice to a conversation about sea-level rise

college of charleston's

Sustainability Literacy Initiative 


Take a glance into the concept of Wade in the Water by stopping into the College of Charleston Addlestone Library. The WITW exhibit is displayed on the Sustainability Literacy Initiative Wall, located on the second floor. John and the CofC's SLI team are coming together to educate Charleston's students and community on climate change.


1056 KING STREET/  MAY - JUNE 2017

This is the abondoned space before the exhibit.

This is the abondoned space before the exhibit.

As part of Enough Pie’s “Awakenings V — King Tide”, artist John Duckworth created a large-scale, site-specific art installation using leading edge smartphone-activated locative audio technology. Titled “Wade in the Water,” the 16,000 sq/ft installation incorporates groundbreaking smartphone technology and custom computer programming to place audio files in specific locations that are triggered by each individual’s movement through the space, resulting in a deeply interactive and immersive participatory experience.

         Working with 4-time Grammy nominated jazz musician/producer Quentin Baxter, and composer Lee Barbour, the empty space comes alive with the sound of a gospel choir singing “Wade in the Water.” Visitors will be able to walk within and around the sounds, as if walking directly into the choir.

          A central diamond shaped room with dual-projections of melting glaciers of Antarctica and flooded Charleston streets provides an inner sanctum for contemplation. Visitors will be able to participate by recording audio commentary in the final section of the room, which can then be heard by others.


John Duckworth's installation is a multi-media experience in collaboration with;

John Gaulden, Garrett Budds, Austin Schulz, Quentin Baxter, Lee Barbour, Kevin Harrison, Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers, Nameless Numberhead, and all the community members who have given their voice to the conversation.

See Full Credit List at the Bottom of the Page




The 16,000 square foot abandoned warehouse space had to be swept, mopped, cleaned, and completely emptied before the installation of the set. In reparation to the show the gospel singers came into the warehouse to record their songs and John Duckworth had to work with a team of technical designers to map the space.

In the photographs above, you can see glimpses of Dr. Rob Young's talk before the opening of the installation. Dr. Young, of Western Carolina University, takes a deep dive into the policies of sea level rise and what is being done about it. 

Michael Campina

Michael Campina

Roll up your pant legs for John Duckworth’s current installation, 'Wade in the Water' 

Full immersion

By Stephanie Hunt

Antarctica is a helluva long haul from upper King Street. Or so you thought. 
The massive ice shelf way down yonder is also super chilly compared to our sweltering heat, and traffic there is not nearly as congested as here, unless you get waylaid by a penguin parade. 

But as Wade in the Water, artist John Duckworth’s bold installation for Enough Pie’s Awakening V: King Tide hopes to make clear, there are critical points of connection between the Lowcountry and the lowest (latitude-wise) continent — besides the fact that we have Southern charm and it’s got the South Pole.


But more than exciting, the work has been meaningful for the artist and community advocate who’s a Charleston Moves board member — and deeply concerned about the environment. “It wasn’t like I set out to do an installation related to Antarctica, but one moment I’m listening to Robert Swan, and next thing I know here I am. I’ve come to realize you don’t go start a movement, movements move you.” Which is exactly what Duckworth hopes will happen to those who experience Wade in the Water.

Read full article here.

Adam Parker / Staff

Adam Parker / Staff

Artist John Duckworth addresses climate change with innovative installation

By Adam Parker

May 18, 2017

Artist John Duckworth is an interesting combination of meditative calm and frenetic creativity. A serious yoga practitioner, he has decided “to move in harmony with what is”: to embrace opportunity, to welcome collaboration and to accept what he cannot change.

But that doesn’t mean he isn’t steaming mad about certain things. Like the dangers posed by the city of Charleston to bicyclists. Like consumerism and inertia and a strange resignation in the face of climate change.

That last issue recently has him all riled up, in his smiling Zen sort of way. Last year he had the occasion to meet Robert Swan of the 2041 Foundation. Swan, a polar explorer and environmentalist, told Duckworth about the foundation’s work to raise awareness about sea level rise, and about its trips to the globe’s southernmost continent. Duckworth’s eyes grew large with interest. He helped send a friend, Garrett Budds, to Antarctica.


Climate change is merely an impersonal concept, Duckworth said, “until you realize, ‘I am interconnected with every single atom and molecule on the planet.' We must save it. No, we must save us. ‘It’ is us.”

Read full article here.

John Gaulden

John Gaulden

“Wade in the Water” Links the Melting Glaciers to Charleston’s Flooded Streets by John Duckworth. A large-scale art installation involving smartphone activated locative-audio

Known for creating art shows that spark conversation and push the envelope of artistic possibilities, artist John Duckworth took on leading edge smartphone activated locative audio technology to create an art installation titled “Wade in the Water.” This large-scale, site-specific art installation is presented by Enough Pie and housed in the 2nd floor of the new home of Redux, a 16,000 warehouse at 1056 King Street.

The installation will consist of three distinctly unique audio zones intended to highlight humankind’s intimate and interdependent relationship with the natural world – linking the flooded streets of Charleston with the melting glaciers of Antarctica through an audio-visual time-based experience. Each attendee needs to download the app (Wade in the Water) before entering the space, so bring a charged smartphone and headphones.

Working with 4-time Grammy nominated jazz musician/producer Quentin Baxter and composer Lee Barbour, the empty space will come alive with the sound of a gospel choir singing “Wade in the Water.” Visitors will be able to ‘walk within and around the sounds,’ as if walking directly into the choir. A central diamond-shaped room with dual projections of glaciers and flooded Charleston streets provides an inner sanctum for contemplation and bearing witness. In an effort to spark conversation, visitors are then able to directly participate by ‘leaving their voice’ in the final section of the room, lending commentary and feedback to create an ever-evolving space representing the pulse of the community.


“Wade in the Water” is a collaborative community effort that includes Quentin Baxter, Lee Barbour, John Gaulden, Garrett Budds, Leigh Webber, Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers, Kevin Harrison and Nameless Numberhead. The app was designed by Josh Kopeck from ECHOES from England. Digital mapping was done by Austin Schulz, lighting and layout by Technical Event Company.

Read full article here.




John Duckworth


Enough Pie

Technical Design

Austin Schulz


Lee Barbour
Quentin Baxter
Ann Caldwell & The Magnolia Singers

Audio Performers

Nameless Numberhead

Photography & Video

Garrett Budds
John Duckworth
John Gaulden
Leigh Webber
Kevin Harrison