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A welded steel matrix, like DNA, will be electrified to build an ongoing calciferous collaboration with marine organisms in Cancun.
A welded steel matrix, like DNA, will be electrified to build an ongoing calciferous collaboration with marine organisms in Cancun.
A welded steel matrix, like DNA, will be electrified to build an ongoing calciferous collaboration with marine organisms in Cancun.
257 backers pledged $16,331 to help bring this project to life.

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NOAA Seminar: June 6 Invitation

You're invited!

Next week please join for a live seminar with NOAA. 

Art as Ecology- Coral Collaborations will be a 1 hour presentation and conversation with NOAA. 

Seminar Sponsors: The NOS Science Seminar Series and OCRM’s Coral Reef Conservation Program

When: 12-1 PM EDT

Where: NOAA, SSMC-4, Room 10153, 1305 East-West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910

To participate remotely, you must connect via the phone and internet:1) Dial toll-free (U.S.) 1-877-708-1667. When prompted enter passcode 7028688# 
Please use your phone’s mute button (*6 toggles on or off) during the presentation until you are ready to ask questions.  The phone conference does not start until about five minutes before the seminar.

2) To access the webex meeting, go the to the webcast site at
Enter meeting number 744925156 if needed; no passcode is required. Enter other required fields – First and last name.
Check the box indicating that you have read the Privacy Policy, and click Proceed.

To access the sound of the presentation, you must dial in using the instructions in #1, above.

Questions? Contact Tracy Gill (, up to 11:15 before the seminar, or if it is within 10 minutes of the seminar start, call the toll free number above, enter the passcode and she will try to answer your questions.

NOS Seminar Remote Access info:

more questions: or

Abtsract: By running low volt direct current through seawater, limestone minerals in the ocean deposit onto metal, becoming a natural substrate for corals to settle upon and colonize.  Any shape or size is possible to create permeable breakwaters, coral habitat, biodiverse ecosystems.  In regions devastated by dynamite fishing, reckless development, and other human impacts, we can use art and science together to regenerate reefs.  Colleen will share her experience with the Global Coral Reef Alliance's Biorock® mineral accretion method to collaborate with endangered corals, and her vision to highlight this underwater technology through a multimedia interactive exhibit on-land.  Data sensors, audio, video, kinetic sculptures and an iron lung will work together to correlate human health with coral health in Respire: The Coral Corollary

About the Speaker: Colleen Flanigan relocated from the West Coast to New York this year. She has a BA in Design from UCLA and a post-bacc degree in Metals from the Oregon College of Art and Craft.  In 2009 she was selected a TED Fellow for her work with coral restoration and stop-motion animation. TED likes polymaths, and Colleen has been synthesizing materials, processes and concepts through her hands-on tactile approach to creative expression. Natural resources, curiously seeking a sense of balance in action, motivate her current pursuit to help heal and understand dying corals and their ecosystems. While investigating intersections between many disciplines, she seeks new avenues for humans and other species to share the Earth.  

Over the past few years as a TED Senior Fellow (2010-2012), her ocean work has notably shifted to blur lines between art and science; she's currently seeking collaborations with diverse partners to foster non-traditional unions capable of serving the world.


Blue Beyond Borders

I'd like to invite you to a Blue Beyond Borders event: I Heart Blue - an ocean love affair.

Wed. 7-10 PM
ACA Galleries
529 West 20th Street
New York, NY 1001

It's being produced by, Asher Jay, a passionate, creative conservationist. Even if you can't attend, I hope you'll give a moment to look at the link and see the line up of presenters, panelists, performers, artists, and organizations supporting the Marine Environmental Research Institute and the incredible pioneering ocean work of Dr. Susan Shaw.

I'll be helping out and hope to see you there!
aka Amphitrite

Event Details: 
Date:   Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Time:   7pm – 10pm

Location:  ACA Galleries   529 W. 20th Street, 5th Floor, (between 10th & 11th Ave)

Immersive multimedia, zero-carbon event that will raise money and awareness for the Marine Environmental Research Institute, a leading organization in the ocean community dedicated to protecting ocean life and human health through research, outreach, and advocacy. Founded by Dr. Susan Shaw, a pioneering marine toxicologist, explorer, and ocean advocate, the Institute is at the forefront of understanding the rising pollution in the world’s oceans and engaging the public and policymakers in innovative solutions to end the flow of contaminants into the sea.

Power to the New Year!

In the final days of December, I heard word that Club Med has approved our permits and contracts.  Egg Nog to that!  (I prefer Coconut Nog). The agreement is being drafted and that means we really are that much closer.  Are you getting me?  Optimism at every turn with a hint of "please send me the paper so we can officially plan our return and make celebratory Margarita toasts to Cancun coral colonies in waiting!"  The installation will go something like this: {Please go to the bottom of this page to see the happy animation (also on youtube)}

The Living Sea Sculpture blog is now up. A place to address a fuller range of science, art, philosophy, and actions.  To make it more diverse and interesting, I plan to interview people who are diverse and interesting.

At the Making Waves Symposium in Boulder this October, Viki Psihoyos put the Living Sea Sculpture into the ocean with the Ocean Action Tracker.  Virtually! Now, you can't actually see the DNA piece as though it were immersed and time-lapse propagating (which would be a cool app), but you see the project in a Google-Ocean-like world and can locate + navigate to projects and events around the blue globe. I love it!

Here you see the first bit-o-biorock pendant prototypes~ photos a la Clay Connally. A little gold leaf to mark where the electrical charge used to be.

Lovely Suzanne Moulton, friend and colleague in animation, a serious supporter of LSS, is modeling hers~photos by Chris Allen .

I'm still accreting more pendants and experimenting in the tank to investigate new materials and forms thanks to my continuing art/science residency at SeaHorse Aquarium. When trying to use a knit metal tube mesh recently as the matrix, I stumbled upon how to plate stainless with iron. It was an exciting accident to reverse the plating process, but kind of a messy one with rust and minerals...On the search for mild steel fine knit tube now; it has formal potential:)

As you all know, getting the DNA in the water is the BIG goal for the lucky 2013! Still running the razoo fundraiser and seeking grants for installation.

Many happy wishes to you all for a healthy and incredible new year!! Thank you for your continuing support and holding the vision of our DNA sculpture morphing into a coral refuge.

The beautiful photo at the very bottom, by EunJae Im, is the cover of the book: Innovative Methods of Marine Ecosystem Restoration.  For any of you wanting an in-depth scientific compilation of Biorock studies over the years, it is finally out!

With love, Colleen and Amphitrite


razoo campaign

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It's between me and Club Med

We are entering fall, and after more than a year of awaiting the clearance--FULL clearance, to install LSS in Cancun, the marine park director and I have come to our next step.  Yes, we have government permits signed and ready. But Club Med, the resort that offered to supply the power, has increasingly required bureaucratic paperwork, adding to our delay and frustration. 

I am now working to contact the new person within Club Med who replaced my strongest ally in the corporation to review all of our original communications, agree to a clear way forward, and get the green light. My original contact was on the same page. He offered understanding, encouragement and was an enthusiastic gateway; I am sorry he left his job! Fingers crossed, his replacement also has some vision to help the ecology.

I told Jaime (marine park director) that I have promised all of you, my backers, a coral refuge.  I am determined to find an ocean home for this well-loved project and believe that we are close. If for any reason Club Med is unable to fulfill their original commitment, or says they were not committed, Jaime and I, MUSA, are going to have to find a new location.  The idea of giving up is not an option, and I mentioned that I have hundreds of private donors that have already paid for this work.  I cannot refund, and this whole process is apparently part of the process. He understood, admitting that even though he's a government official, after spending a year passing papers to different departments, he HATES bureaucracy.

It IS a drag, yet I stay open, involved and confident--It WILL happen.  And I have the ability to rationalize that "everything works out for the best."  It seems to help and I never think it won't happen.

If any of you have close ties with Club Med in Mexico, please let me know; maybe there is another way that I am not seeing. Fresh eyes and perspectives are welcome. Perhaps the new wave generators will get to market and become affordable...

 So, that is the story. It continues. And we have nearly $10,000 funds raised for our return.

On a PR note, tomorrow I am an honoree at Brain Storm here in Portland.  I will be presenting about Biorock and then interviewed. 

Exciting news!  The Home the Ocean Built, a 35 second cartoon animation, will have its world premier tomorrow night at the event. Special thanks to Danny Rico and Seth Norman.

The Portland Monthly captured me laughing at something. 

Oct 21 I will be presenting at Making Waves 2012 in Boulder, CO. 

In September, the inaugural mini Maker Faire took place here in Portland at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry-- more photos at Living Sea Sculpture

The Stocking Stuffer Coral and I thank you for your continuing love and support.


Permit (sooo close!)

Hello all you supportive generous, patient people,

On August 31st, I received news that SEMARNAT (govt responsiblle for permit regarding a strip of land where our cable crosses) had signed the letter. Yea!! You know it has been a slow journey, so this is worthy of some hugs and high fives. It has since gone on to Club Med. 

I wanted to tell you all the minute I found out, but I was not clear what I was finding out. It seems the greenlight is not quite, BUT, we are CLOSER. 

Today I am preparing for the first Maker Faire to happen in Portland this weekend.  I will have a booth with the Biorocker and the community reef, people can make small wire models of sculptures, and I am very excited about the group creation of a new coral "species" out of socks and part of an old papasan chair. Since it is all about making at Maker Faire, and Portland is the capital of reuse craftiness, we have loads of colorful socks, all sizes, ready to be stuffed and added to one intriguing new organism.

I'll be speaking at 4 PM tomorrow about Living Sea Sculptures, corals and transforming seafloors.  So if you are in the area, please come by and say hello!   I love to see friends and will be at booth #65 from 10-6 both Sat and Sun. 

I have some other good news to share, events coming up, and photo of latest Biorock scale model, so will be back shortly. 

Thank you all!  Please take a moment to envision the DNA piece in the ocean today:)


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