There Must Be Other Names For The River

a web-based sound installation and virtual community space launching online on March 22, 2021.

There Must Be Other Names For The River is a web-based sound installation and virtual community space engaging the history, present, and potential futures of the river we currently call the Rio Grande. Viewers will be guided along the river, where they will hear the songs of vocalists emerge from points along its 1,800 mile length. Each singer works from a graphic score representing nearly 50 years of waterflow data at a specific point along the river. This exhibition is paired with a virtual community space which invites the community that relies on the river to submit their own vocalization of waterflow data, stories, songs, or retellings of memories and hopes for the future, stemming from their relationships with what we call today the Rio Grande. These paired digital spaces ask us to actively consider and contribute to the trajectory of this lifeline in arid lands.

This project utilizes digital technology to artistically explore our relationship with the source of life in this region. In this time of physical distancing, There Must Be Other Names For The River also reminds us that the river connects us to neighbors and ecosystems, both seen and unseen.

Generous support for this project is provided by the University of New Mexico Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities.

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There Must Be Other Names For The River was developed by a group of the University of New Mexico Master of Fine Arts students and alumni to bring awareness to critical climate change and water access issues. Artists Marisa Demarco, Dylan McLaughlin and Jessica Zeglin, in partnership with the University of New Mexico Art Museum, are releasing this virtual project on March 22nd, 2021, to coincide with “World Water Day” as an act of advocacy for sustainable freshwater resources.

According to the artists, “this work—through visceral re-connection and acknowledgement—aims to spur the questions that must be asked so we can make demands of governments and industries to save this river. The river that we call the Rio Grande—but which has been called by many names throughout its long life—must survive far into the future.”


Marisa Demarco

Dylan McLaughlin

Jessica Zeglin


Monica Demarco

Ryan Dennison

Kenneth Cornell

Antonia Montoya

Mauro Woody

Marya Errin Jones

There Must Be Other Names For The River: A Conversation with the Artists

On Friday, March 26th, 2021 at 4:00 PM on Zoom, the artists will be joined by Arif Khan, Director of the UNM Art Museum, and Traci Quinn, former Curator of Education & Public Programs, to discuss the development, goals and artistic process of There Must Be Other Names For The River.

For more information, please visit

Press Kit

For more information or press inquiries, please contact Devin Geraci, Manager of Communications & Audience Engagement, at or (505) 277-6773.

Please be sure to credit artists’ work using the included image credit guide. Click to download:

There Must Be Other Names For The River Press Release

There Must Be Other Names for the River Images

Contact the Artists for interview requests and further inquiries at