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The Coralarium: An Immersive Sculptural Installation Semi-Submerged in the Indian Ocean

July 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All photographs shared with permission of the artist Jason deCaires Taylor

The Coralarium is the newest aquatic sculpture by artist Jason deCaires Taylor (previously here and here). Built in a large developed coral lagoon in the Maldives, the semi-submerged installation is positioned so both human and marine visitors can interact with sculptural elements on the skyline, inter-tidal waterline, and seabed.

To reach the Coralarium, island guests traverse about 500 feet (150 meters) of shallow water, seascaped with underwater poplars and endemic corals. About 20 feet (6 meters) tall, the open-air stainless steel cube is designed based on natural coral structures and allows tidal water and marine life to pass through. Within the structure, which provides some refuge from the ocean’s currents, are several figurative sculptures that merge human, plant, and coral shapes, based on endemic species of the island and its surrounding reefs. Additional sculptures sit and stand atop the cube’s roof to unite the interior elements with the horizon.

The aquatic destination is accessible via small group tours led by marine biologists that are on staff at the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi resort. You can see more of Taylor’s work on Facebook and Instagram, and the video below shows the creation of the Coralarium. (via Web Urbanist)

 

 



Brave Snorkelers and Ravenous Jellyfish Steal the Spotlight in This Year’s Underwater Photographer of the Year

July 6, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Compact Commended: "Elvis" by Stefano Cerbai (Italy)

Compact Commended: “Elvis” © Stefano Cerbai (Italy)/UPY2018

Winners and finalists in the 2018 Underwater Photographer of the Year contest showcased a wide range of subjects and perspectives—from a split photograph of a pair of crossed swans to a startling portrait of an unlucky fish being devoured by a luminescent jellyfish. The annual competition, held since 1965, is based in the UK and open to photographers worldwide. Judge chairman Peter Rowlands shares with Colossal that a free downloadable yearbook is available, compiling this year’s top photographs.

Wide Angle Commended: "Blacktip Rendezvous" by Renee Capozzola (USA)

Wide Angle Commended: “Blacktip Rendezvous” © Renee Capozzola (USA)/UPY2018

Behavior Runner Up: "In Hinding" by Scott Gutsy Tuason (Philippines)

Behavior Runner Up: “In Hinding” © Scott Gutsy Tuason (Philippines)/UPY2018

Black and White Highly Commended: "Morning Flight" by Filippo Borghi (Italy)

Black and White Highly Commended: “Morning Flight” © Filippo Borghi (Italy)/UPY2018

Wide Angle Third Place: "Evening Snorkel" by Brook Peterson (USA)

Wide Angle Third Place: “Evening Snorkel” © Brook Peterson (USA)/UPY2018

British Waters Macro Commended: "Nudibranch across the kelp" by Trevor Rees (UK)

British Waters Macro Commended: “Nudibranch across the kelp” © Trevor Rees (UK)/UPY2018

Macro Runner Up: "Friend or Food?!" by Songda Cai (China)

Macro Runner Up: “Friend or Food?!” © Songda Cai (China)/UPY2018

Portrait Winner: "A sand tiger shark surrounded by tiny bait fish" by Tanya Houppermans (USA)

Portrait Winner: “A sand tiger shark surrounded by tiny bait fish” © Tanya Houppermans (USA)/UPY2018

Black and White Winner: "Crocodile reflections" by Borut Furlan (Slovenia)

Black and White Winner: “Crocodile reflections”  © Borut Furlan (Slovenia)/UPY2018

Macro Highly Commended: "Pretty lady" by TianHong Wang (China)

Macro Highly Commended: “Pretty lady”  © TianHong Wang (China)/UPY2018

Wide Angle Winner: "Humpback whale spy hopping" by Greg Lecoeur (France)

Wide Angle Winner: “Humpback whale spy hopping”  © Greg Lecoeur (France)/UPY2018

British Underwater Photographer of the Year: "Love Birds" by Grant Thomas (UK)

British Underwater Photographer of the Year: “Love Birds” by  © Grant Thomas (UK)/UPY2018

 

 



A 38-Foot-Tall Whale Made From 10,000 Pounds of Plastic Waste Surfaces in Bruges

June 27, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

In response to the Bruges Triennial’s 2018 theme “Liquid City,” Brooklyn-based architecture and design firm STUDIOKCA designed a 38-foot-tall sculptural whale composed of over five tons of plastic pulled from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The studio, led by Jason Klimoski and Lesley Chang, wanted to address how cities from across the globe are contributing to the waste that has piled up in our oceans—the discarded plastic that is washing up on our shores and endangering and killing marine life.

Skyscraper contains nearly 4,000-square-feet of plastic waste, which is just a dent in the 150 million tons of plastic that currently circulates in our seas. STUDIOKCA worked with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund to coordinate several beach clean-ups, which is how the team found most of the plastic for the 10,000-pound whale.

“Right now there is 150 million tons of plastic swimming in the ocean, our oceans, the oceans we share,” says Klimoski in a video created about the project. “Pound for pound that is more plastic waste swimming in the ocean than there is whales. So an opportunity like this to show the type of plastic and the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans is really important.”

You can learn more about the team’s process behind the large-scale whale on their website and in the video below. The Bruges Triennial continues through September 16, 2018. (via Colossal Submissions)

Triënnale 2018; STUDIOKCA – ‘Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)’

Triënnale 2018; STUDIOKCA – ‘Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)’

Triënnale 2018; STUDIOKCA – ‘Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)’

 

 



Artful Swirls of Plastic Marine Debris Documented in Images by Photographer Mandy Barker

April 19, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

SOUP – Refused © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; plastic oceanic debris affected by chewing and attempted ingestion by animals. Includes a toothpaste tube. Additives; teeth from goats.

Photographer Mandy Barker creates deceptively eye-catching images to document the pandemic of plastic debris in the world’s waterways. Barker, who is based in Leeds, UK, works closely with scientists to collect trash from our oceans and beaches on the edges of nearly every continent. One research expedition covered the debris field (stretching to Hawaii) that resulted from Japan’s 2011 tsunami and earthquake; she has also explored the Inner Hebrides in Scotland with Greenpeace.

Barker manipulates her findings in Photoshop, mimicking the manner in which ocean water holds these objects in suspension. Swirls of colors and patterns draw in the viewer’s eye, only to realize that these visually appealing compositions consist of garbage that animals have attempted to chew, plastic pellets, tangles of fishing line, and water-logged soccer balls. The artist describes her work in a statement on her website:

The aim of my work is to engage with and stimulate an emotional response in the viewer by combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction along with the subsequent message of awareness. The research process is a vital part of my development as the images I make are based on scientific fact which is essential to the integrity of my work.

Barker is currently a recipient of a 2018 National Geographic Society grant. Her work is on display through April 22nd at Mexico City’s Museum of Modern Art, at Photo London Art Fair in May 2018, at the Triennial of Photography in Hamburg in June, 2018, and at BredaPhoto in The Netherlands in September 2018. The artist’s book, Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals, was named one of the ten best books of 2017 by Smithsonian. You can see more of Barker’s photographs on her website as well as on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

EVERY… snowflake is different (detail) © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; white marine plastic debris objects collected in two single visits to a nature reserve on the East Coast of England.

EVERY… snowflake is different © Mandy Barker. Ingredients: white marine plastic debris objects collected in two single visits to a nature reserve on the East Coast of England.

Hong Kong Soup:1826 – Lighter © Mandy Barker. Discarded cigarette lighters make reference to our single-use throw away society. The panda, a national emblem of China represents endangered species and faces away from the group symbolizing mother nature turning its back on man’s inability to take ownership of its waste.

Hong Kong Soup:1826 – Spilt © Mandy Barker. 150 tonnes of pre-production plastic pellets (nurdles) spilt from a cargo container during Typhoon Vincente on 23rd July 2012 adds to Hong Kong’s waste issues in its seas and on its beaches.

PENALTY – Europe © Mandy Barker. 633 marine plastic debris footballs (and pieces of) recovered from 23 countries and islands within Europe, from 104 different beaches, and by 62 members of the public, in just 4 months.

PENALTY – The World © Mandy Barker. 769 marine plastic debris footballs (and pieces of) collected from 41 countries and islands around the world, from 144 different beaches and by 89 members of the public in just 4 months.

PENALTY – 24 Footballs © Mandy Barker.

SHOAL – 30.41N, 157.51E © Mandy Barker.Included in trawl: child’s ball and Japanese character – fridge magnet found on the tsunami shoreline. Fishing buoy found in trawl sample, North pacific Ocean

SHOAL 33.15N, 151.15E © Mandy Barker. Included in trawl: tatami mat from the floor of a Japanese home, fishing related plastics, buoys, nylon rope, buckets, fish trays, polystyrene floats, shampoo bottle, caps, balloon & holder, petrol container.

SOUP – Alphabet © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; plastic debris that includes surface text. Ironic random arrangement of 4 pieces of plastic that suggest a warning; ‘Sea’ ‘AND’ ‘HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES’ ‘FOUL’

SOUP: Bird’s Nest © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; discarded fishing line that has formed nest-like balls due to tidal and oceanic movement. Additives; other debris collected in its path.

SOUP – Ruinous Remembrance © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; plastic flowers, leaves, stems, and fishing line. Additives; bones, skulls, feathers, and fish.

SOUP: Turtle © Mandy Barker.

WHERE © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; marine debris balloons collected from around the world.

WHERE (detail) © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; marine debris balloons collected from around the world.

 

 



Discarded Fishing Nets and Other Ocean Trash Repurposed Into Running Shoes

June 8, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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Image via Adidas

Stitched with thread produced from discarded fishing nets, Adidas‘ newest shoes are a collaboration with the ocean activist collective and company Parley for the Oceans. The idea for the shoe was hatched last year, but was more of a idealistic prototype than a ready-to-wear option for the masses. Today however, Adidas is releasing fifty pairs of the sneaker, a shoe composed of more than 16 old plastic bottles and 13 grams of gill nets.

This limited number of pairs is due to the difficult task of taking the collected trash and spinning it into fiber suitable for high performance shoes. Plastic bottles are relatively easy to transform into a useable material, but when it comes to the gill nets (which emit the smell of rotting fish) the task is a bit more difficult. Not only is the smell difficult to scrub from the nets, but the nylon is extra tough and requires being ground into a powder before it can be reformed into a material fit for the Adidas sneaker.

To collect these environmentally damaging materials, Parley partners with small countries that have large ties to marine pollution—locations like the Maldives, Grenada, and Jamaica. After partnering, Parley team members help clean up fisheries and other oceanside spots while teaching locals alternatives to using plastic in their businesses. The materials collected by Parley are then distributed not only to Adidas, but also institutions such as Parsons School of Design, which might help change the way new generations of designers think about incorporating these materials into future designs.

An announcement will be made soon on how to win one of the 50 released pairs of the collaborative shoe on Adidas’ Instagram.

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Image via Adidas

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Image via Adidas

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Image via Adidas

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Image via Adidas

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Image via Adidas

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Image via Adidas

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photo credit: Giacomo Giorigi / Sea Shepherd Global

 

 



Discarded Plastic Fishing Nets Retrieved from the Ocean Used in New Shoe Prototype

July 6, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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Adidas is now designing shoes from our oceans’ detritus, recently producing the world’s first prototype with parts constructed from ocean plastic and illegal deep-sea gillnets. The athletic apparel manufacture partnered with Parley for the Oceans as collaborators, a group of creators, thinkers, and leaders who design projects that aim to end the destruction of our oceans.

The community explains, “Our oceans are about to collapse and there is not much time to turn it around. Nobody can solve this alone. Everyone has to be a part of the solution. And collaboration is the magic formula.”

An ally of Parley, the Sea Shepard Conservation Society, collected the materials for the shoe while tracking an outlawed poaching vessel off the coast of West Africa. The concept for the shoe was then created in just six days, the prototype showcased at the UnxParley launch event in New York on June 29.

Parley explains that this concept is only the beginning, but is an example of how impactful creative collaboration is. “The problems we face are many, but so are the solutions. Stay tuned to learn more about how Parley will end ocean plastic pollution.” Although the partners have explained that this specific concept might never be commercially available, Adidas plans to introduce recycled plastic into their manufacturing process by early next year. (via My Modern Met)

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photo credit: Giacomo Giorigi / Sea Shepherd Global

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