During 2015 I was invited by Theoretical Biologist Dr. Richard Gordon for a short residency to The Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory (GSML), following five years of correspondence over a mutual long term interest in diatoms (microorganisms found in most water bodies globally). GSML President Jack Rudloe, a recognised naturalist, environmental activist, and author of numerous books on the subject, offered a warm welcome. The residency led to numerous outcomes that covered interventions, site-specific experimental works, collaborations, recommendations for aesthetic improvements for GSML environs and concepts for future art and science residencies. A number of installations were created in the final weeks titled PRECIOUS using found objects and materials from around the GSML environs, primarily old and broken equipment, restoring them and displaying them, as elevated objects, the hidden parts of the infrastructure of the aquariums and tanks that support the rescued creatures, turtle rescues were being organised at the time of my stay.
Dr Richard Gordon and his wife Embryogeneticist Natalie Gordon describe themselves as 'itinerant scientists', up until recently solely living in a mobile home and travelling from their base in Canada through North America to Panacea stopping off to give lectures and attend confereces on their way to GSML. I too am interant - artist frequently on the move, invited to create artworks at various locations in the UK and overseas and often working in external locations. The notion of transient convergence has become pertinent in the matter of travels, meetings and my artistic practice.
The Bacillaria Paradoxa Project
January 2016 - Ongoing
An artistic approach to an environmental mystery.
Otyatatemushi's video of Bacillaria Paradoxa micro-organisms display the elegance and beauty of movement of some diatoms. Currently 'diatom motility' is being investigated, how do they move? Interestingly and mysteriously, scientists having undertaken intense observations of Bacillaria Paradoxa diatomea and generated many theories, still cannot fully explain how the diatoms create movement.
The residency at GSML provided an opportunity to investigate this phenomenon with Dr Richard Gordon who is passionate about the research of diatoms and the Bacillaria Paradoxa in particular.
'The unique gliding motion of the cells in the colonial diatom Bacillaria "paradoxa" against one another has intrigued microscopists since 1783. Both the mechanism of movement and of entrainment, which results in partial synchrony, are unsolved.'
From Absract : Partial synchronization of the colonial diatom Bacillaria "paradoxa"
January 2016 R Gordon Read More
'Petrified Bacillaria' The Rogan Postualtion - popsicle sticks on a tiled floor
Theoretical Biologist Dick Gordon rearranges Rogan's Postulation
Abandoned Dwellings on the 'Forgotten Coast' Florida US
Richard Gordon (Theoretical Biologist) Wikipedia
Gulf Spcimen and Marine Laboratory, Panacea, Florida USA