This past June, a group of distinguished scientists and artists embarked on an expedition of the Pacific Ocean along Alaska’s coastline. Together they explored, documented, and cleared away plastic pollution in the ocean. They travelled through the floating islands of trash that contaminate our oceans and endanger marine life. Throughout the expedition, the artists – including Tinney’s own Pam Longobardi – created art from the heaps of trash they encountered. Their works explore the relationship between humans and the ocean in our contemporary context of high consumption. They highlight an environmental problem that most people would otherwise never encounter or consider. Pam Longobardi says:
“It’s one hope of the expedition to pose a model for cooperation, creative problem solving, and inspiration to action. Plastic production and waste may be the most important issue facing humans right now because it is the hidden part of every other problem: global warming, depleted oil reserves, offshore drilling, rampant consumption, wasted resources, ocean poisoning, food toxification…Art has a important role to play in communicating the visual, intellectual and emotional message about the world we are now entering in the Anthropocene—the new geologic era marked by human change to the physical earth.” (Source)
The exhibition will show at the Anchorage Museum in Alaska from February – September 2014. Following September, the show will travel across the US. To learn more about the Gyre exhibit, go here. For those of us who can’t wait, the National Geographic film Gyre: Creating Art from a Plastic Ocean documents their journey. Click here to watch the short film.