Becoming Mangrove

Interactive media sculpture at Rauschenberg Residency, Rising Waters Confab II, Captiva, FL, USA: 1.2x 1 x 0.5 M, 2016

During the Rising Waters Rauschenberg Residency I examined the micro-ecologies of Captiva Island and North Captiva Island under a webcamera microscope, and found the water and soil around the mangroves to be especially rich in life. These examinations became part of an interactive media installation “Becoming Mangrove”, which emphasizes the resilience of the mangrove ecosystems in the face of rising water and storm surges provoked by rapid climate change.

Participants can toggle through the digital microscope footage archives by connecting to mangrove buds and conductive prints of red and black mangroves. The mangrove buds connect with a microprocessor that sends a low voltage through the buds and whenever a participant touches the “ground” bud and the “right arrow” bud the circuit is completed and the microprocessor tells the computer to switch to the next slide of microscope video footage. Even groups of people can complete the circuit and thereby complete the connection to the resilience of the mangroves, both physically and metaphorically.