I ❤ Ocean, 2021
souvenir whale fridge magnet, rare earth magnet, CRT TV, motor, timber, footage of the Derwent Estuary, images of deep sea mining machinery
I ❤ Ocean brings together ideas around redundant technology, invisible energies, extraction industries, and the cyclical nature of time into a makeshift installation that gradually destroys itself.
Hobart’s decimation of whale populations for oil in the 1800s conjures tangibly gruesome imagery in contrast to the frequently elusive methods of present day resource extraction. The extreme geography of deep-sea mining – a relatively new threat to an already depleted ocean, places it beyond the realm of human experience and adds another layer of invisibility to current extraction industries. Amidst a long list of other environmental consequences, it’s predicted that deep-sea mining will have a direct impact on whales due to noise and vibration pollution, in addition to leaching toxic products. The Derwent River, reportedly once populated by vast numbers of whales, now contains among the highest levels of heavy metals recorded in Australia.
We don’t know exactly how whales migrate to precise locations across vast distances every year, there is speculation that, like pigeons, they use the magnetic field to navigate.
If you hold a magnet close to a CRT TV, it alters the path of electrons flowing towards the screen, distorting the picture into a rainbow of colours reminiscent of petrol on water, eventually causing permanent damage.
The Hobart tip shop doesn’t attempt to sell the steady stream of CRT TVs they receive, this now redundant technology joins a glut of other defunct gadgets destined to be taken apart for scrap or for landfill.
Created for Peak Whale Oil curated by Ecological Gyre, presented at Sawtooth ARI, TAS