Angélica Vielma ’18


Art and Archaeology

Project Title

The Batture Ritual: An Intimate Look at the Macro- and Micro-Economies of the Mississippi River

My project started with a tree. I spent my summer in New Orleans working as a production assistant and research intern on a documentary about climate change, human activity and the fragile economy of the Lower Mississippi River. Situated on a batture — the land between a low-stage river and a levee — the tree was a daily stop for me and my adviser, Jeffrey Whetstone, who is making the documentary as part of his PEI Urban Grand Challenges project, “Flow: Living with the Mississippi.” One of the biggest things about the Mississippi River and New Orleans is how affected they are by climate change. With permission from the Port of New Orleans, we worked every day from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., or 3 a.m. to noon, filming the people, places and commerce on and along the river. My summer was not what I expected it to be. I was pleasantly surprised by my experiences and the creative opportunity to transfer those into art. I also got to think about how scientific data can be transformed into art. I believe that the intersection where art and science meet is where information flourishes.

* This internship is connected to the PEI Urban Grand Challenges project, “Flow: Living with the Mississippi.

Internship Year


Project Category

Resilient Cities


ospect New Orleans, New Orleans


Jeffrey Whetstone, Professor of Visual Arts in the Lewis Center for the Arts