Maria Popova's Brainpickings tweets Carol Devine's Aquamess Portraits of Arctic Trash: clean it
Aquamess featured in Ernest Journal March 27, 2017 Issue 6 is a bi-annual printed journal for the curious and adventurous. It is a guide for those who appreciate true craftsmanship, who are fascinated by curious histories and who care more for timeless style than trends. It is a periodical of substance created for folk who love to build res, camp under a canopy of stars and run full pelt into the sea. It is for people who’d like to learn how to brew beer in their shed and name all the constellations of the northern hemisphere. It is for people who whittle.
by Enrique Gili
Though we have come to expect pollution in the seas and oceans that border densely populated areas, what about the world's more remote waters? Artist Carol Devine went to find out. Read more
Aquamess will be part of an exhibit at the Canada Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa Canada in November 2017 in a section devoted to the oceans, marine science, and ocean health. The pieces of garbage I collected in Svalbard, Norway that you see in this virtual exhibit are now part of the museum's collection. I'm grateful curator Dr David Pantalony urged me to bring back samples of the trash we found on the Svalbard Clean up we did on several beaches during our civilian expedition. Date TBA. Watch this space!
In Phys.org magazine 5 Jan 2017
We're hearing more from studies about microplastics in our waters and research techniques. This brief article assesses current sampling and techniques. Clearly it's imperative to keep studying and in the meantime we, industry, government need to continue to clean up our act and think more about use and disposal of items that harm us and the ecosystem.
The review describes the currently used analytical methods with their advantages and drawbacks. For example, the reader learns that the visual inspection of the samples (derived from sediment, water surface or bulk) still takes a prominent role although the chance of false (both positive and negative) results is very large. And the lower size limit for optical detection is recommended to be about 500 micrometers, whereas the most interesting—because probably the most harmful—microplastic particles and fibers are in the range down to one micrometer or even nanometers. On the other hand, spectroscopic techniques have been successfully implemented which can unambiguously characterize the quality of the plastic particle down to one micrometer, provided certain analytical requirements are met. The authors propose that these spectroscopic techniques, combined with the emerging thermoanalytical techniques, will provide reliable data in the future, but they need to be continually developed and optimized.
As their most important point, the authors call for a harmonization of methods..."
"The authors also discuss the uptake of microplastics and its effects in living species, and they highlight the necessity of enhanced research efforts towards the distribution of plastic additives such as plasticizers, fillers, or flame retardants in the tissue, which are potential health hazards. Thus, the article adds important aspects to the ongoing discussion on microplastic pollution in marine and freshwater biotopes and presents valid solutions for future management."
SCIENCE INSPIRES ART
18th Art-Science, Juried Exhibition
Organized by Art & Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI)
at the New York Hall of Science
September 17, 2016 - February 26, 2017
Artists Reception: Sept.18 from 2-4pm
The international Open Call for this 18th annual art-science exhibition produced by Art & Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI), “Science Inspires Art: FOOD,” sought 2D images of original art executed in any media that reflect on the topic of FOOD from all angles: from the historical record to the elite haute-cuisine of today's "molecular gastronomy”; as a physical material for making or inspiring art, or as a vehicle for stimulating important community discussion.
The negative effects of climate change (rising sea levels and global temperatures, droughts, flooding, and extreme weather events) are challenging the sustainability and wisdom of our current agriculture and meat production systems. FOOD has become the central focus of an urgent global debate on how to feed our planet's projected 9-billion people by 2050 (World Health Organization) without increasing our greenhouse gas footprint.
Since FOOD is on the frontlines of our future sustainability, this exhibition reveals an intriguing variety of visual perspectives representing the face of this new complexity. We imagine you may recognize some of their artistic reactions to the science of food security and safety, nutrition, food health disorders or obsessions, edible front yards, eating insects or speculative new hybrids, however, others are thought provokingly out-of-this world. Cynthia Pannucci, ASCI
"Near the 80th parallel north, you’re more likely to find polar bear paw prints than human bootprints in the snow. You're also likely to find a human footprint of another kind: plastic. In the span of just half a century, our collective synthetic addiction has rendered pristine wilderness obsolete. Plastic pollution from all over the world is carried by ocean currents and deposited everywhere — from the bottom of the sea to even the most isolated Arctic landscapes, areas already pushed to their limits by human-driven climate change.
Last year, artist and activist Carol Devine traveled to Svalbard, Norway, on an expedition to address marine debris accumulations near the North Pole. She went to take action against plastic pollution, and turned the journey itself into a floating art exhibition, Discard/art Svalbard, hoping to create a catalyst for inspiration and change. By documenting the expedition findings in portraits of garbage, she delivers a powerful wake-up call for humanity: we are all more connected than we realize. It’s time to clean up our act.
We asked Carol about her journey and latest exhibition, Aqua mess, which documents items found at the top of the world."
Last fall the first studies showed microplastics near Svalbard in Arctic waters.
Now we learn that a lot of the garbage in the Arctic has been carried from UK seas. It surprises me these findings are only arriving now but the collective consciousness of knowledge of and fighting of the trash is happening, thankfully. This Guardian article by Damian Carrington is well worth a read: