WetLab \\ public works + Assembly

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This event is supported by National Lottery Open Week, meaning your visit is free (2 adults and up to 3 children) on display of a lottery ticket or scratch card. Without a lottery ticket or scratch card, prices are as follows:

Adult (16 & over) £9.75
Child (6-15) £6.00
Child (5 and under) Free
Family £25.00

What Floats on the Surface

View the WetLab workshop schedule. This schedule may be subject to change, any updates to the schedule can be found at WetLab on the day.

This floating laboratory created by public works and Assembly uses the canal network as site as well as subject. A space where creative minds including artists, architects, scientists, engineers, technologists and cooks invite the public to come and explore the biological and social ecology of the waterways, and together envisage potential future uses for the canal in your local area.

Over three days at National Waterways Museum, WetLab artists will highlight systems of care and culture in and around our canals, exploring the impact of climate change and pollution on our waterways, as well as celebrating the networks that exist in the local area; from the teams that care for the mighty yet old and delicate vessels at the museum, to the ecologists that work with the rich and resilient local biodiversity of the canals and canal-banks.

The North West is a central hub to industry and a trade point for the world, and so WetLab will ponder “what floats on the surface”? This temporary laboratory/kitchen will look at often overlooked but buoyant resources and ingredients provided by the canal which can be put into use: from transforming infesting weeds into both combustible biomass fuel and edible matter for delicious meals, to re-forming plastic waste into simple DIY prototypes for alternative floating food growing systems.

Artists from public works and Assembly will be leading workshops throughout the weekend. The WetLab schedule will be available at WetLab, with opportunities to observe demonstrations and take part in a series of workshops including a morning tea ceremony, canal walks and an exploration into combustible biomass. Find out more.

Capacity is limited and workshops are on a first come first served basis however there will be continuous access and interaction with WetLab itself. Please speak to a member of the team for on site on the day for more information.

We have taken into account government guidance relating to social distancing, and will safely accommodate you and your group from arrival through to departure. Please bring your own face mask. There will be hand washing / sanitising stations around the site.

The canal-based pavilion, designed by critical design practice public works, will tour sites across Greater Manchester and Lancashire after launching in Cheshire for AND Festival 2021 at National Waterways Museum; a public archive of Britain’s navigable inland waterways.

WetLab by public works + Assembly is commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices and Super Slow Way. Produced by Abandon Normal Devices for AND Festival 2021. Delivered in partnership with Canal & River Trust and Wigan Council. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

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