An artistic Biorock® coral refuge will be installed in the underwater museum, MUSA, in the National Marine Park of Cancun, Mexico.
Mexico is losing a lot of coral due to climate change, disease, ocean acidification, pollution and other human activities. This sculpture aims to regenerate healthy coral and boost chances of survival. In the video above, you witness the fabrication of a "Living Sea Sculpture: Contemporary Art as Coral Refuge" with my team in Mexico this past summer. Jason deCaires Taylor makes a cameo in the video to discuss how best to anchor it to withstand hurricanes (14 anchors!). Once installed, the metal structure becomes habitat for marine life and evolves into a large aquatic coral "topiary" that serves ocean biodiversity and human interest in the underwater museum, MUSA, and National Marine Park of Cancun, Mexico. You can visit by boat, snorkeling, diving...depending on which gallery you are touring.
This video shows how the Biorock process works...plus a day of re-enacting coral restoration at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
The DNA sculpture made it to port:
And this is where we stand-- a Living Sea Sculpture stuck on land. The project met with some unexpected contract issues that are being cleared. I'm preparing for that happy moment when we receive the signed permits confirming that the steel DNA helices will achieve Living Sea Sculpture status and leave the rusting sand sculpture ranks. SOON PLEASE!!! I am speaking regularly with the authorities and making progress. We need to be ready with the funding to return to deploy and continue filming for a documentary and multi-media exhibit. A year ago I launched a kickstarter to create "Living Sea Sculpture: Contemporary Art as Coral Refuge." Thanks to our amazing backers and grants from 2 philanthropies, the Harnisch Foundation and Bertha Philanthropies, we dove into the void and embarked on this adventure: kickstarter.com/projects/958753974/living-sea-sculpture-contemporary-art-as-coral-ref
The sculpture is being stored at the deployment company, Marenter. It's under a tarp and survived Hurricane Rina this past November. (whew!) But we don't want to leave it there to rust! The humidified airy atmosphere is not its friend. The ocean, though, is it's ally, because the limestone deposits protect and fortify both the steel framework and the coral colonies. Because May and June usually have great weather for deployment, we set our sites and turn to kickstarter once more!
Your tax-deductible donations pay for the return of our four person team back to Mexico, diving gear, anchoring, filming, fees and expenses related to successful installation. That's right, all your contributions are being processed through the 501(c)(3) non-profit, Global Coral Reef Alliance (GCRA). globalcoral.org
One of the positive outcomes of this unexpected lull: Thomas Sarkisian, our electrical engineer, has been developing a monitor that can send signals from location via wi-fi or SMS enabling us to follow the technical side of the project more closely. If a problem is detected with the power system, we can contact people in Cancun to check on the project and make repairs. We are training people there to maintain and cultivate the sculpture for science and eco-tourism. The monitor is on our wish list, and as the kickstarter LSS deploys unfolds, we hope to include it in the budget.
Our kickstarter goal covers the bare bones once we take out the kickstarter and Amazon fees, packing, shipping, producing. International backers, please add $5-$10 if there is shipping involved. Hugely helpful!
- Dr. Tom Goreau, scientific adviser; President of GCRA: globalcoral.org
- Thomas Sarkisian, electrical engineer: biorock-thailand.com
- Mike Gerzevitz, director of photography: mikegerz.com
- Margaret Andres, film editor: http://vimeo.com/treelily (Stateside)
- Colleen Flanigan, artist; project lead colleenflanigan.com
- Fredy Uloa, fabrication assistant in intro video (Based in Cancun)
Special thanks to Wendy Thompson and Terra Nyssa for doing a fish count (ecological survey) of the installation site so we can follow-up to see which marine life moves into the new artsy neighborhood. wildandscenicfilmfestival.org/films/
And more thanks to Woody Wood and Tracie Reuters of SeaHorse Aquarium and Supply. We have created an informal art/sci residency with small Biorock coral experiments (and bit-o-biorock pendants in process) at Woody's shop. seahorse-nw.com
The song, "Cancun Kiss," by Aaron and Julie is one of their creative ways to share their passion for wildlife and rescue dogs (they have recorded Rescue Dog Blues...) and comes straight from Music City USA Nashville, TN.
- Julie Stein, Conservation Biologist and Songwriter, scentmark.org and SmokinGorgeous.com.
- Aaron Raitiere, Singer/Songwriter from Kentucky, www.aaronraitiere.com and OneToothRecords.com
Julie, along with a handful of passionate people around the world, co-founded an organization, Certified Wildlife Friendly. They are looking into adding marine initiatives to their program, which could include Living Sea Sculptures. Stay tuned...wildlifefriendly.org
The Freaker is serious funny! and functional. The kickstarter team picked their video as one of the best for 2011. It stands out. freakerusa.com/pages/about
The jewelry: plants on land, polyps in the sea, and calcium carbonate in varied forms have been long time inspirations without my being fully conscious of just how much ocean imagery has permeated my work for 20 years.
star polyp earrings--silver. gold. one pair of larger silver polyps
Double Crowns (a bit like a coral polyp extending to feed)
Silver and concrete with tiny steel spikes
"broccoli coral" pendants in waiting. These little silver trees have been quietly waiting for this year for many moons. Once soft plants, morphed into hard metal, now standing on rusty ground anticipating their present role: staking a claim that metal is not just a medium to cast forms, it can be a foundation for living organisms. .5"-.75" tall x .5"-5/8" across; 1-2cm x 2cm
celebratory kitty pompom rings reminiscent of something colorful, soft and enigmatic attached to a rock in the sea somewhere. Festive.. and popular with cats.
Clay Connally has generously donated his photographic skills, time, and materials to provide these images of my jewelry. clayconnally.com
Author, Rex Rose, amzn.to/zUU47S caringly creates my website.
The underwater photos are by Connie Whelan of Coral Perspecitives. After years of playing in the Oregon Symphony, she became a diver and photographer. She likes to share the wonders of the sea with the landlocked. coralperspectives.com/portfolio.php
The pen and ink drawings relax me and bring my focus to a single point. The imagery flows from the mysteries in my mind. I listen to the lines and enter a calm, playful state of a waking dream. How are they related to this project? They are marks from mini adventures, small but important. I want to give you something personal to thank you for joining my big dream of making art that uplifts myself and the world.
(these 2 scans are only to give you an idea; your prints or drawings will be on archival paper/tile and high resolution, color quality.)
to follow us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LivingSeaSculpture
What a wonderful question! Please visit my website here: http://colleenflanigan.com/index2.htm to follow the adventure. we are still working to return this May or June.
you will receive one of their already designed freakers instead. They have a couple that have some ocean and Mexican flair in their selection. Of course we want to have one specially created for LSS, so hopefully we will!!
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Pledge $1 or moreYou selected
Thank you! For every snorkel bubble I blow looking at the Living Sea Sculpture below, I will think of you.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
"Cancun Kiss" was inspired, written and produced as a gift for this project and the future of corals reefs. So generous! You will receive a download of the song and lyrics by Julie Stein and Aaron Raitiere. All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $22 or moreYou selected
22 backers All gone!
22 is my favorite number! you will receive an "escarglow"--a handmade candle in a snail shell made by Miss Snail Pail + your "Cancun Kiss." note: this reward for $22 pledges only. All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
If 500 people back at this level or higher, you will receive a Living Sea Sculpture custom-designed Freaker by Freaker USA. What's a Freaker?! "a one-size-fits-all knit koozie that functionally makes your beverage feel special...a strong, tight knit that keeps your liquids insulated in style!" Every time you quench your thirst, you'll be holding the vision of thriving reef ecosystems; knowing your comfortable hands helped cultivate a coral colony. Plus you get your downloadable "Cancun Kiss." All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
the above + a limited edition digital print of one of my detailed pen-ink drawings with ocean theme (your choice from a selection of 5). All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
6 backers Limited (4 left of 10)
the above + a phone call. 10 minutes to talk about corals, Biorock, art, solutions...a creative conversation with real voices. All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $125 or moreYou selected
You receive the song and lyrics, 2 Freakers, 2 digital prints (now your friend can have one of each too:) All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
4 backers Limited (24 left of 28)
all the $125 rewards + a pair of sterling silver star polyp earrings. They will shine spritely on your lobes. (See photo) All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $175 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (110 left of 110)
you receive the song, lyrics, 2 freakers + an original pen-ink drawing on a 4" ceramic tile. Each is a one-of-a-kind wall piece with a mini french cleat for hanging. I will select one of the stream of consciousness drawings randomly to surprise you. note: the digital prints are reproductions from some of these originals. All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
1 backer All gone!
you receive the song, lyrics, 2 freakers + one pair of larger sterling star polyp earrings. All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
3 backers Limited (1 left of 4)
you receive the song, lyrics, 2 freakers + a celebratory kitty pompom ring (sizes are already determined). All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $300 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (11 left of 11)
song, lyrics, 2 freakers + my favorite earrings that I have ever made! I wear them all the time (one less decision:). Some say they look like finger catchers, double crowns, and latest, beta barrel proteins/porins. (thanks, Luke Hutchinson, for bringing in the scientific cellular reference). All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $350 or moreYou selected
1 backer All gone!
song, lyrics, 2 freakers + 1 of 2 pairs of earrings I ever made like this: lightly pigmented concrete set into anticlastic formed sterling "donuts" with tiny steel spikes. (they hang like hoop earrings. see in photo). All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $400 or moreYou selected
you receive the song, lyrics, 2 freakers + 10 cards (blank inside) with underwater photographs from Coral Perspectives. All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $450 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (19 left of 19)
you receive the song, lyrics, 2 freakers, 10 cards (blank inside) with underwater photographs from Coral Perspectives + a sterling silver "broccoli coral" pendant custom made while doing what I love--making things! Is there really a broccoli coral? Not that I've seen, but there are tree corals. (see photo) Donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (6 left of 6)
you receive the song, lyrics, 2 freakers,10 cards (blank inside) with underwater photographs from Coral Perspectives + a pair of 14kt. yellow gold star polyp earrings. Corals are precious, so is gold! All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $750 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
you receive the song, lyrics, 2 custom freakers, 10 cards (blank inside) with underwater photographs from Coral Perspectives + a piece of jewelry made from a cast sterling silver dogwood blossom (I love it. looks like a caulifower coral). All nations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
you receive the song, lyrics + 4 freakers + 2 sets of 10 cards (blank inside) with underwater photographs from Coral Perspectives + a framed photograph of the Living Sea Sculpture installed signed by me and the photographer. All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $2,000 or moreYou selected
all the $1000 rewards + I'll make a custom piece of silver jewelry for you + you receive a boat pass to snorkel at MUSA. All donations are tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
the song, lyrics, 4 freakers, 2 sets of 10 cards (blank inside) with underwater photographs from Coral Perspectives, a framed signed photograph of the Living Sea Sculpture installed, and a pass to MUSA. You will be listed as a benefactor in all printed and public material + you receive the steel Biorocker boat sculpture seen in the last video on this page. perhaps it could become a coral refuge? I know a place~ (crocheted corals not included). Donations tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
You will be listed as a benefactor in all printed and public materials. You receive the song, lyrics, 4 freakers, 2 sets of 10 cards (blank inside) with underwater photographs from Coral Perspectives, a framed signed photo of Living Sea Sculpture, a custom piece of silver jewelry + a tour of MUSA with Jason deCaires Taylor and myself. Dinner included. Your transport. Donations tax-deductible.Estimated delivery:
- (53 days)