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Multimedia installation made in collaboration with Michel Droge, Asha Tamirisa, Tristan Koepke, and Carolina González Valencia.
Video source material provided by the Schmidt Ocean Institute
Text excerpts from Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals by Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Photo credits: Phyllis Graber Jensen

In June of 2023, Michel Droge was invited to join Co-chief Scientists Dr. Beth Orcutt of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences located in Boothbay Maine, (USA) and Dr. Jorge Cortés of the Universidad de Costa Rica, and an international team of scientists and artists on a month-long expedition off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica to explore the Earth’s first-ever-discovered octopus nursery. During this excursion, they also found the fifth-known octopus nursery in the world on a seamount 30 nautical miles away. The team’s ultimate goal is to better understand the hydrogeology, microbiology, ecology, and geochemistry that may facilitate octopus nurseries while characterizing life-supporting services provided by the ecosystems on these seamounts.

As an immersive multimedia exhibition, Beyond Midnight  shares the experience of the deep sea, a place that is rarely seen by humans. The piece explores the personal and ecological potentials of observing at the edge of the unknown. In light of current demands for metals and minerals found abundantly on the sea floor and the impending risks of unregulated exploitation by mining, the vibrancy of the deep sea is shared to raise awareness of the urgent need for the protection and conservation of these delicate and vital ecosystems.

Acknowledgements: The Bates Arts Collaborative, IMPACT21st, Schmidt Ocean Institute, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and The Bates Faculty Development Fund.


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