Tuesday, July 2, 2013
The Ghost Below
We have been on quite a journey since our travels to Hong Kong in April. We have opened shows at the California Academy of Sciences, the Oakland Museum and the Marine Mammal Center. Whew!!! It has been hectic but we are rewarded that we have been asked to use our artwork to speak about the problem of plastic pollution in three such august Bay Area institutions.
In June we cast Indra's Net, an actual 40' x40' trawl net over the courtyard at TMMC. It is paired with the Ghost Net Monster in a dynamic dialogue about the problem of plastic pollution and ghost nets. And, thanks to an amazing team of folks from the Marine Mammal Center and the premier San Francisco ad agency Swirl, an online component of The Ghost Below just launched. With this virtual net we cast the net globally — extending the reach of our message. On the Marine Mammal website there is also an enhanced page describing The Ghost Below art installation with simple navigation and easy links.
The Ghost Below is a call to let the imagination surface. What we don't know, what we deny has a powerful force once it's in the light of day. To make visible what we deny (here, the oceanic load of plastic--nets & trash) sparks new thinking about our problems so we may begin the task every artist knows "show-don't tell." The duty of the net (real and virtual) is to gather up the energy of promises and involvement. We feel the sea to be a source of nourishment both for the body and spirit—a great god in need of our collective propitiation. The ghost below can be a scary image, the unknown lurking. But in truth, it can be the source of creative imagination if we let it, honoring the mystery of what we don't know.
We usually are a team of two. Our collaboration between us is from the "is you is, or is you ain't" school. Together the two of us can get quick turn-around but we now know, to work with so many voices, with Swirl and TMMC has brought light and richness to the depths of the ghost below. And, in the end, all the voices had impact and made for a super installation and now websites.