“Building on the exchange of methods and practices alongside in-depth conversations with the scientific team, my creative process has become an experiment of my own”

           – Adrien Segal, Artist-at-Sea

As part of her Artist-at-Sea residency on board the R/V Falkor, Cindy Pease Roe (Artist-At-Sea) ran an end-of-cruise workshop for both the crew and science team. Her work is centered around the "upcycling" of marine plastics. Here she teaches everyone how to create their very own whales out of waste collected from the beach.

SOI’s Artist-at-Sea program continues to expand with twelve participating artists in 2019, including a dedicated artist transit. The program collectively brings together the experiences of scientists and artists, allowing them to exchange knowledge, inspiration, and broadening perspectives.

Exemplifying the intersection of art, science, and technology, artists Alyson Ogasian and Shona Kitchen integrated their 3D printed designs onto the experimental cameras placed on ROV SuBastian. Another artist, David Bowen, used a CNC machine to carve bathymetry data into various substrates, while also using 3D printing to illustrate seafloor maps collected during his time on Falkor. In another approach to transforming complex ocean features, Christine Lee used oceanographic data to guide threaded shapes that describe coral structure. And artist Cindy Pease Roe created a ‘whale talisman’ constructed completely of collected debris to highlight the increasing problem of waste in the ocean.

Artist-At-Sea Annabel Slater takes notes and sketches on her tablet while sitting on a deep-sea lander on the aft deck of Research Vessel Falkor.
In Falkor’s wet lab, Artist-at-Sea Kishan Munroe works on his composition, a mixed-media piece incorporating aspects of collage and photography.

The knowledge embodied by a selection of the art pieces was shared in several public exhibits at the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in Hawaii and in collaboration with Science Gallery Detroit (DEPTH exhibit) at the Michigan Science Center. Both exhibits included grand opening events with artist participants. The DEPTH exhibit in Michigan also included several ship-to-shore connections with Falkor, an SOI hosted panel on ocean science art collaborations, and an experimental music performance by the Detroit Sound Bureau using ROV SuBastian footage at the Toyota Engineering 4D Theater.

Part art gallery, part science lab and part theater, the DEPTH exhibit explored the world’s connection to water. Put on by Science Gallery Detroit - a partnership with Michigan State University to pioneer science programs aimed at 15-25 year olds that are integrated with art, design, and technology - the exhibit contained many pieces by Artist-at- Sea participants.
Alyson Ogasian (Artist-at-Sea), assists the crew of the R/V Falkor with the installation of her unique camera housings on ROV SuBastian.

The continued work of previous Artists-at-Sea participants is also a testament to the power of the program. In 2019, artist alumni expanded upon their time aboard the Falkor with new pieces, exhibitions, and collaborations.

Artist Lauren Salm’s entire work has shifted to a more abstract style after being inspired by the seafloor mapping imagery she worked with while on Falkor. Not only has she created additional paintings surrounding the seafloor mapping theme, but she has recently partnered with Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to put on an exhibit of bathymetry-inspired work in honor of the 100th anniversary of oceanographic cartographer Marie Tharp’s birth. Tharp was instrumental in creating the first scientific map of the Atlantic Ocean floor. Another artist, Adam Swanson, is now collaborating with researchers on Lake Superior organizing public talks and working on new pieces about water quality in the region. Gideon Gerlt’s time aboard Falkor inspired him to create a public art program in Alaska, while artist Bailey Fergeson’s experience motivated her to create a series of paintings that celebrate the complex biodiversity of coral reefs. Previous participant Rebecca Rutstien’s work has now been featured in several popular publications including Hakai, Muse, SciArt, and Vice Magazines.

Artist-at-Sea Christine Lee at work, threading the shapes of the different eddies in this region inside the diameter of one of Falkor's portholes.

Scientists and artists who have worked together aboard Falkor continue to collaborate. Artist Lily Simonson and Dr. Peter Girguis have started a new project with Dr. Betsy Pugel of NASA based on their shared time during the 2018 Characterizing Venting and Seepage along the coast of California expedition. Previous program participants have also reached across expeditions, as Bailey Ferguson (2019) and Michelle Schwengala (2016) collaborated for an interdisciplinary art piece now on display in Los Angeles. The project was inspired by their separate times on board, the shared wonder of exploring, and the overall importance of protecting the deep sea.

In the wet lab, Artist-at-Sea Meredith Brindley adds watercolors to the composition made in ink by her “Drawbot."
(L - R) Betsy Pugel (NASA), Student Opportunities participant Elisa Aitoro, and Artist-at-Sea Abrian Curington look at rock fragments and samples recovered by ROV SuBastian during the "Seeking Space Rocks" expedition.
Artist-at-Sea Bailey Ferguson’s daily exercise to document the ship’s movement were “movement painting” pieces. Her method was applying fluid acrylics to a sheet of canvas laid flat on the floor.