(Phosphorescent algae images painted on driftwood blocks with underwater video overlay.)
A few years ago while participating in an artist-in-residency I had the miraculous opportunity to swim at night through a colony of phosphorescent algae. Swimming with my eyes open underwater that night was like combing my childhood fantasies of being an underwater Tinkerbell with Jacques Cousteau. I determined to learn more about these special beings. Turns out they are micro-small, but powerful in numbers - powerful enough to keep the oceans humming on this planet! I dedicated my research and multimedia ecoart installation to these little creatures - bluegreen alga (plural) or Cyanobacteria (Latin). Small things in great numbers do wonders!
THE DELICATE BALANCE OF BLUEGREEN ALGAE “demonstrates the fragile equilibrium of nature by spotlighting blue-green algae, one of the most basic forms of life, and how it is a foundation to our world’s food system. As current practices have proven disruptive to this stability, BlueGreen stresses the value of these microscopic organisms and why it is critical to restore nature’s essential balance.”
Excerpted from 2011 Nature Nourishes catalogue* Filmmaker and ecoartist Baker believes the microscopics of the ocean act as our life support system, effecting not simply the food chain and oxygen levels in the oceans, but planet-wide.
As Climate Change effects warm the oceans and acidification increases, the delicate balance of the entire ocean-based food chain and oxygen production is at risk. Baker feels that this is why it is essential to move to sustainable practices much more quickly than our current rate of change. This sculpture has been re-purposed and traveled from Maine to Detroit to California and now back to Maine. Baker likes to quote, “What goes around, comes around,” as she believes the
Bluegreen algae is one of earths’ most basic forms of life, as well as a source of food for many beings and environments. These microscopic plants are in a delicate balance in waters all over the world – from mud puddles to expansive oceans. Although many people may know that oceans derive their color from bluegreen algae, it’s not widely known that these tiny creatures are the keystone to our planetary food pyramid. As non-sustainable practices have evidenced the disruption to this delicate balance, BlueGreen underscores the reverence and practices necessary to restore and maintain this balance -- follow the sea turtles feeding and follow natures’ plan.