ANIMATIONS Objects Pictures

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Oceanic Living Data Installation (2012-Ongoing)
Materials: Acrylic mesh, Steel, Digital animation
Size: Variable
Looping animation length: Variable

Plankton mesh illuminated by animationsholds stories, data and iconography shared by many scientists and other artists. Iconography are circling, spiraling and crossing lines that describe how parts relate to form whole systems. Like a scientific model, the installation evolves to reflect current knowledge of how a living system maintains homeostasis between its parts. Recent data are traced to show sea levels rising and changing patterns of growth in some plants and animals. Unlike a scientific model, this model can be touched. You can move through it and feel you're part of it. Sometimes you may hear it.

Conversations between scientists, artists and other people are vital for honing language we can each understand and be moved by.

Iterations of animated lines cast through mesh have personal and cultural significance. I learn the primal forms through dance and drawing, and identify them in gestures (including drawings) made by scientists. The forms are recognised in Indigenous cultural practices around the world. Their repetition, evolution, and layering signify how we learn and pass on knowledge that is vital for survival.

Mesh strips have scientific significance. They signify the mesh that trawls the Ocean for phytoplankton (microscopic plants). Phytoplankton produce every second molecule we breathe. Their numbers and distribution indicate the health of the world's ocean and thus Life on Land that the Ocean sustains. Mesh strips gather specimens in Continuous Plankton Recorders (CPS's) that scientists have used since the early 1930's. The mesh is marked with lines and numbers that enable scientists to calibrate the 'catch' with locations identified by GPS on ocean vessels.

Oceanic Living Data iterations are presented at art and science exhibitions and conferences, most notably at Antarctic Treaty Consultative meetings.