Infra_Moana #2, 2019
Infra_Moana #2, explores the sea, our familiar playground, as a ‘future sea’ further into the Anthropocene. It plays on the concept of infrared photography which captures levels of heat. Infra-Moana provides an imaginary opportunity to see the warming of the seas using yellow as a symbol of warmth. The work also references the increasing occurrence of algae blooms as the seas warm up. This turns the water red, green or yellow. Some algal blooms are the result of an excess of nutrients (particularly phosphorus and nitrogen) which cause an increase in the growth of algae and green plants. As this organic matter dies it becomes food for bacteria that decompose it. With more food available, the bacteria increase in number and use up the dissolved oxygen in the water killing many fish and aquatic insects. This results in a dead area in seas or lakes. This work was in part inspired by a report from Qingdao, China, in 2013, about a massive algae bloom attracting beach goers. People flocked to the beach to play in the water transformed by the algae bloom. News reports included photographs of people swimming and playing on 'floaties' within this thick green algae which covered a record breaking 28,900 sq km. In this work, like apocryphal ‘frogs in a bathtub’, humans go about their leisure, or current behaviour, seemingly unaware of their authorship of future reality, including significant impacts upon our environment.