Today is World Oceans Day. It’s also, appropriately, No Plastic Day. The ocean is magnificent and yet fragile. In awe of the ocean’s vastness, we humans discard our waste, imagining that the sea will wash away the things we don’t want. We believe that oil, plastics, mercury, fertilizers, pesticides will all simply disappear. And yet, the living systems that depend on the ocean (including humans) are coming to learn that while the ocean may be vast, it is also finite. Can you imagine a world without oceans? Several artists want us to do just that.
The Plastic Century artists set up an installation at the SF Academy of Sciences last week asking visitors to think about the rise of plastics in the world’s oceans from 1910, the year Jacques Cousteau was born, to 2030, an imaginary time when plastic has completely filled up the ocean. Setting up 4 water coolers representing the years 1910, 1960, 2010, and 2030, they ask if you would dare to drink. The plastic in the coolers is both sad and beautiful, isn’t it?
(Click on each image to see larger size.)
Marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols teamed up with sound artist Halsey Burgund to create Ocean Voices, a haunting audio collage of music and words telling a story about the ocean. Ocean Voices premiered at the SF Academy of Sciences last Thursday night, where images were projected on the walls of the Planetarium and sounds were generated by live musicians. Here is just taste:
You can still add your own voice, and the voices of children you know, to the project. All you need is a computer with a microphone.
Ocean of Plastic
Working with children at the Benjamin Franklin International School Elementary in Barcelona, Spain, artist Dianna Cohen created a huge mural out of plastic bags depicting the effects of plastic in the ocean. Watch and listen.
And finally, following up on his wildly successful video about going green, Puglet returns with a video about what we can do to protect the ocean.