Archive for the 'Art' Category

Ocean conservation success stories offer hope and inspiration

New technologies and research are helping solve problems such as plastic pollution, bycatch and ocean acidification.

(Illustrations by Feng Chen For The Washington Post)

It’s easy to take the ocean for granted. The deep blue is crucial to things we do every day without thinking. We breathe. We eat and drink. We buy something that’s made far from where we live. The ocean contributes to all those things. Not thinking about what the ocean does for us would be okay if its gifts were limitless. But they are not. And the actions of humans — nearly 8 billion of us — are threatening resources we can’t do without.

Thankfully, a growing number of people are focused on safeguarding the ocean. Scientists, lawmakers, businesses and nonprofit groups are among those raising awareness of problems such as plastic pollution, bycatch and ocean acidification. They aren’t only highlighting problems, however. They are developing solutions. Small success stories are building hope and encouraging more people to get involved.

We created a special collection of KidsPost stories because we know that when you think about the ocean, you realize how valuable it is. We have proof. Readers recently answered our request for short ocean appreciations, several of which we feature below. Reflecting is a good first step. We hope the additional stories and photos deepen your understanding of the ocean’s problems and inspire you to be part of the solutions.

Reflections by young writers

What I appreciate most about the ocean is the diversity of life it supports, from enormous blue whales to tiny, but ever so important, corals. I love the beauty, architecture and liveliness of all the animals, plants and others who dwell under the sea.

— Brice Claypoole, 14, Longboat Key, Florida

Treasure, transportation and food. All of these good things come from the ocean. The ocean lets us explore and express ourselves. It gives us food and all of these amazing things that come from the ocean. It allows us to show the world what we can do together!

— Owen Bairley, 9, Fredericksburg, Virginia

….

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Three current students shortlisted for the Frankenthaler Climate Art awards

Three current Visual Arts students, Linnéa GadVivian Vivas, and Char Jeré, were shortlisted for the Frankenthaler Climate Art Awards.

Presented by Asia Society and the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the Frankenthaler Climate Art Awards aim to foster climate change awareness through the imagination and insights of an upcoming generation of visual artists. This important award offers three winners $15,000 and honors in Washington, D.C. on the occasion of Asia Society’s COAL + ICE exhibition.

Gad’s work centers around the material lime and “examines how CO2 levels and the acidification of the sea are intertwined with the lifecycle of the mineral,” according to the Frankenthaler website. Working within the medium of sculpture, she works only with lime which is contained in every material she uses such as oyster shells, lapis lazuli, and cement. In so doing, Gad tries to highlight lime’s “diversity and its willingness to bind with different versions of itself.”

Linnéa Gad, Studio at Columbia, Fall 2021

Columbia University School of the Arts, 4 May 2022. More information.

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The Ocean comes to its own defense in a new musical that confronts climate change (text & audio)

Ocean Filibuster” is onstage at the A.R.T.’s Loeb Drama Center through Sunday, March 13. An online version will be available to stream March 9-27 and the producers plan to take it on tour.

According to a recent United Nations report, climate change is causing irreparable damage to farmland, cities and coastlines. Environmentalists say getting the public to act on dire news like this is hard, but Harvard University scientists collaborating with the American Repertory Theater believe an immersive musical experience will help.

Ocean Filibuster” stars a bold, battered, billions-of-years-old main character: the Ocean.

“No, I’m not here on behalf of the ocean, I’m not standing in for the ocean,” actor Jennifer Kidwell clarifies on stage early in the production, “I am the Ocean.”

She actually portrays two characters in “Ocean Filibuster” — that immense body of water, and she also plays against herself as a polished politician named Mr. Majority.

Jennifer Kidwell as the Ocean in “Ocean Filibuster.” (Courtesy Maggie Hall)

In the opening scene, Mr. Majority addresses a global senate in a dystopian future. The theater is set up like a government chamber and the audience plays a part in the proceedings. Mr. Majority tells us how superstorms, wildfires and drought have ravaged the planet. Cities like New York and Tokyo are underwater.

“Coastal landslides displacing entire countries, forcing the desperate masses inland, penniless and hungry to start anew,” he says. “When we trace this devastation back to the source, we find ourselves standing on a beach, gazing upon the ocean.”

Continue reading ‘The Ocean comes to its own defense in a new musical that confronts climate change (text & audio)’

University unveils creative projects communicating climate emergency

The Creative Associates 2021

An interdisciplinary project that brings together science and art to create innovative methods of communicating research has unveiled its 2021 ‘collection’ focused on the climate emergency.

From an Ocean Organ that provides a visual representation of ocean acidification to a help guide on restoring oak woodland, the pieces are all part of the Creative Associates programme at the University of Plymouth.

Orchestrated by the Sustainable Earth Institute, and now in its third year, Creative Associates has been responsible for some imaginative approaches to communicating scientific issues, including putting a mobile phone in a blender to reveal the rare materials contained within – a video that was viewed by millions of people around the world.

“With the COP26 conference underway, the climate emergency is dominating the news agenda,” 

says Dr Paul Hardman, Manager of the Sustainable Earth Institute. 

“But not everyone engages with the mainstream media, so it’s vital that we find alternative channels through which we can communicate and conceptualise key issues such as carbon in our atmosphere, sustainable cities and biodiversity. The Creative Associates seek to do this, whether through stunning photography, film, or interactive resources, reaching out to people and often presenting positive solutions.”

One of the projects – Visualising Climate: Young People’s Responses to the Climate Emergency – was even invited to hold an event in the Green Zone at COP26, showcasing the work undertaken by Professor of Sociology, Alison Anderson, artist Carey Marks and film-maker James Ellwood. Together they ran a series of co-created workshops with young people aged 16–18 in schools in Devon to find out how they engage with climate change and their views about how the issues are being covered in the media. An interactive game using illustrated visual icons created by Carey’s company Scarlet DESIGN provided a visually exciting means to encourage the young people to open up.

Their findings produced a number of insights, including that young people tend to have better knowledge of the impacts than the causes of climate change. Also, they recalled seeing climate change content most regularly on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. They tend to identify with and distinguish between specific social media platforms more than they do with the original sources of content posted to these platforms. Young people also preferred the topic to be framed visually, showing local impacts and everyday contexts. A film capturing the voices of a selection of the young people has been produced by James Ellwood of Fotonow.

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Ocean acidification a poem by Samantha Jones

The poem “Ocean Acidification” blends science and poetry to explore one of the challenges a high-CO2 world poses to the ocean and the species, ecosystems, and human communities that depend on it.

Author Samantha Jones’ PhD research on carbon cycling in the Canadian Arctic inspired this work, which first appeared in WATCH YOUR HEAD (online) in March 2021 at watchyourhead.ca/.

Samantha is currently a PhD Candidate in Geography at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

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A moment with the sea – communicating caring actions for the Baltic Sea

Baltic Sea Day Thursday August 26th 2021

Inspired by the Ocean Confessions by Pete Fung and Samein Shamshar and adapted in Tvärminne research station in Hanko by a multidisciplinary research group as part of the Baltic Sea Lab in the CreaTures Research project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 grant.

We invite you to participate in this action of caring for the Baltic Sea!

We want to enable a personal encounter with the sea by providing the participants to express their love, concerns, transgressions or fears for their local sea. The science we face daily is worrying and might easily lead us to feeling defeated and powerless. Through voicing our emotions, we can move into a space of gratitude, poetic, reflective, collectively caring. You can participate by attending the event at Hanaholmen or remotely by sending us your message to and for the Baltic Sea.

Participation at Hanaholmen 3 PM – 6 PM:

Professor of practise Julia Lohmann with her team presents her work and encourages us to show our engagement and care for the Baltic Sea. In this activity we will ask participants to spend a moment with the sea and share a thought with this body of water by writing it with chalk, a calcium based medium that acts as a token against ocean acidification. This writing will happen either directly on the rocks or on smaller stones and pieces of bark that can be placed by the shore. The reflections of care will be given to the sea.

As a symbolic act of care, the writings on the rock will be done using street chalk, which is made of calcium carbonate, and will enter the sea in the end. Calcium carbonate buffers the acidification of the sea caused by climate change.

Please sign up through this form.

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Zobol ocean acidification – white coral wastelands (audio)

Zobol – Ocean Acidification EP Nocta Numerica Records ‎– NN020 Vinyl 12′ 2021, Paris, France

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Season’s greetings and happy new year from the OA-ICC !

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Ocean acidification in E minor

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How to rescue the oceans from progressive acidification?

Event: Saturday 14 September, 2-3pm, Auckland, New Zealand

Join artist Charlotte Graham and University of Auckland Professor of Biological Sciences Te Kura Mātauranga Koiora, Dr. Mary Sewell, as they discuss Graham’s Whakawaikawa Moana/Acidic Oceans, 2019.

Whakawaikawa Moana/Acidic Oceans is a mirror and text installation that addresses the phenomenon of ocean acidification by summoning the world (AO) and its natural elements under environmental stress. Employing lighting to project words in many directions evoking the multidirectional power of the winds and the sun shimmering on the ocean surface, the work speaks of acidic waters compromising marine life.

Graham will discuss her work in light of scientific research on ocean acidification and the pair will explore scientific solutions to restore balance to our oceans.

Charlotte Graham (Pare Hauraki, Pare Waikato, Ngāti Kotimana) is an interdisciplinary artist who uses different materials to engage in indigenous dialogue. Graham’s work has addressed social, cultural and political issues for more than twenty years.

Dr. Mary Sewell’s recent research has focused on the impact of ocean acidification on early development in sea urchins and green-shell mussels, from habitats including the Hauraki Gulf, Firth of Thames and coastal regions of Antarctica.

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Season’s greetings and happy new year from the OA-ICC !

Holiday_NS 2018.jpg

 

Save the corals

Performers swimming in the lighted water of Hirschengraben Indoor Swimming Pool in Bern during an artistic performance by Swiss visual artist Pipilotti Rist and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to denounce the disappearance of corals due to warming and acidification of the ocean. Photo courtesy: AFP

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Exhibition features East German photos, oceanic sculptures

Photographs from 1974 East Berlin and sculptures of sea slugs sit side by side at the fall exhibits at the Kehler Liddell Gallery in Westville.

The first exhibit, entitled Taking Sides, features work by New Haven photographer Sven Martson who recently published a book with photographs of daily life in East Berlin before the fall of the Berlin wall. Sculptor Gar Waterman created the second exhibit, entitled Canaries in a Blue Coal Mine. His work aims to draw attention to the impact of ocean acidification on sea creatures through his sculptures of animals such as cephalopods, sea slugs and fish. Both exhibits will be on display until October 7.

“Sven is covering what humans are doing to each other and my show is more about what we are doing to the environment,” Waterman said at the show’s opening on Sunday . “Both of our shows show how we are interacting we each other in one case and also how we are interacting with the world and the creatures that are in it.”

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Saving the planet

Art is an ideal way to communicate climate imperatives in digestible chunks, Pam McKinlay says. Bruce Munro talks to the Dunedin artist and curator ahead of the family-focused art expo “Oku Moana”. 

Pam McKinlay is saving the planet, not one, but a dozen interactive art works at a time.

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“Carbonated Ocean” photos raise awareness for climate change’s lesser known evil twin

Striking conceptual photography is once again a major component of Christine Ren’s latest conservation campaign, called Carbonated Ocean

Last time we were in touch with performer, filmmaker, and underwater “artivist” Christine Ren, we had an insightful discussion about her (then) project about ghost fishing titled Silent Killers. Now, she’s back with a new website and another evocative project centered on marine conservation. This time, she zeroes in on climate change’s lesser known evil twin, ocean acidification.

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A basic idea falls flat in ‘pH’

pHIt’s not exaggeration to call Nancy Lord an Alaska institution. The former state Poet Laurette, has built a multiple decade-spanning career of short stories, memoirs, academic work and activism highlighting her love for history, the natural world and Alaska. But she’s never made the jump into novels until now, with “pH.”

“pH” is one-half literary fiction and one-half issues book, with the issue in question being ocean acidification. If that sounds like it would be hard to build an interesting novel around … it is. And “pH” frankly fails.

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The Ocean Film Challenge

Filmmakers have the power to change the trajectory of human life on our water planet — from destruction to revitalization! Submit a short film for the Ocean Film Challenge, 7 minutes or under, on the impact humans have on the ocean and the actions individuals can take to save the ocean … and the humans who depend on it. Continue reading ‘The Ocean Film Challenge’

Enviro-doc exploring ocean acidification’s impact on deep-water corals gains unprecedented access; to premiere at Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Acid Horizon follows marine ecologist Dr. Erik Cordes on a harrowing deep-sea expedition to track down the “supercoral,” a strain of the deep-water coral Lophelia pertusa that seems to possess the unique genetic capability to thrive in a low-pH ocean. The film will make its World Premiere at the 2018 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

The film’s protagonist Dr. Cordes, Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Biology at Temple University, explains: “Our research has shown that some coral colonies – the “Supercorals” – do better than the rest when challenged by ocean acidification. This film delivers that message through an intimate story and an epic adventure. It is essential that this story is told so that people are aware of this hidden threat, but also understand that there is hope and still time to take action.”

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Season’s greetings and happy new year !

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A novel approach to ocean acidification

Pteropods may look otherworldly, but they are a real and threatened species of minuscule marine snail whose appearance in Homer author Nancy Lord’s new novel “pH” makes the book not science fiction, but an example of science in fiction.

“pH” is the first novel for Lord, a mostly literary nonfiction writer whose five previous books have looked at endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales, personal recollections of setnet fishing, and northern experiences of climate change. “pH” gives its first factual data point on page three: “Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the United States put together.” The thought that immediately follows in the mind of “pH”’s hero, marine biologist Ray Berringer, is that it only makes sense for Alaskans to lead the study of ocean acidification and how it affects the food chains on which many coastal lives — and the economic lives of many Alaskans — depend.

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