Tender Dominion, Works on paper

2010  7 patent drawings
ink, graphite and photograph on paper
(35 x 25 cm)

Drawings from the ‘Tender Dominion’ series by Marguerite Kahrl depict patent applications for water harvesting and purification. Examples include capturing condensation in a tree’s breath #282601 to first wash #282603 which she designed for the rainwater harvesting project on Sant’ Erasmo (the first rainfall is used to wash the roof before sending water into cistern).

Kahrl’s use of patents for something as basic as water collection is a commentary on the trend to patent living matter and knowledge. The Tender Dominion drawings exist as records of experiments and propositions whose function is to bring attention to traditional knowledge and blueprints for survival, rather than to license natural processes.