The Sea We Make/Lamer Nou Fer + Seeded
Performance, HD single channel video installation, 51 minutes, 2 takeaways, 2012-16
The Sea We Make/Lamer Nou Fer generates aesthetic experiences to bear witness to shifts caused by climate change. The project addresses Mauritian lagoon ecology as an indicator of grave impacts. Ocean acidification and other environmental impacts are rapidly destroying the corals, which is the basis of the lagoon ecosystem. These impacts are primarily caused by the overuse of fossil fuels, of which the US is one of the greatest contributors.
Since the inception of this project, I have worked closely with local activist Stefan Gua. With his help, I have been conducting interviews, collecting and producing imagery and generating partnerships with local and international experts to garner better understanding.
To address this complex problem, I produced a performance work entitled Seeded in July 2016. On the coast of Mauritius, I planted 35 mangrove trees as a symbolic act against climate change. Mangroves are known for their high CO2 absorption abilities and symbiotic relationship to coral and juvenile fish.
The primary perpetrator for our current environmental troubles are countries with a large consumption of fossil fuels, of which the USA is second in the world. Exercising my rights as an American citizen for this global concern, the US Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works is the primary target audience for Seeded. Combining research and images from the project, I am producing a letter campaign, explaining the performative action that I have made to address the rapidly increasing global effects of climate change. In exchange for small prints of my artwork, I am asking the elected officials to take steps in their realms of power to address climate change and support the Paris Climate Summit resolution.
I am also in production for a single video installation that features images of traditional fishing in Mauritius and ice fishing in the Lake Champlain islands. Just as climate change is affecting Mauritian fishermen, warming temperatures are causing ice fishing traditions to wane. Once a maritime environment, these North American islands are located on the most exposed area of the Chazy reef, the most ancient known location of coral.
In addition to the photographic and video work, this project includes two takeaway cards with images and text, entitled Dear Representative, reflecting on the concerns of climate change for audience members to bring home with them.
This work is being produced for the transnational exhibition project entitled Ephemeral Coast, curated by Celina Jeffery PhD. The exhibition of the complete project is scheduled for May 2017 at Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Wales.