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!
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, 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
to follow us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LivingSeaSculpture