AROUND OSPREY, Installation
Based on our residency at the Bay Preserve in Osprey, Florida(1), we have designed a two-element video installation.
Element A is a series of 12 poetic videos organized into a program for projection on one wall of the gallery. The moving pictures and sound treatments for these videos have been gathered from our notes, poetry, stories, encounters and research outings.
Element B (no sound), for projection on the adjacent wall, is a bank of 12 video works also drawn from explorations by land and water in and around the reaches of the Bay Preserve. After applying only minimal editing, the videos for Element B were added to a Max/MSP/Jitter patch(2) for playback and interaction with K. Brevis(3) weekly cell counts by day and location on 16 South Florida beaches over a twelve-month timespan. (4) When viewing the Element B projection: When the count are low, there is little-to-no changes in the moving pictures. When the counts are higher, the images take on corresponding degrees of red tint and temporal shifts that show up as blurriness. The cell count data and location are not directly related to the images they are placed upon.
Our residency took place during heightened presence of Florida’s Red Tide, also known by its scientific name Karenia Brevis or K. Brevis. As the organisms’ cell count grew, fish and other oxygen-starved animals washed up. For humans, it became difficult to walk on the beach as we choked for air. While rumors circulated about runoffs from Lake Okeechobee exacerbating this naturally occurring problem, we thought about the potential for the problem spreading further into the animal food chain. As artists, we sometimes react to environmental balances/imbalances through observation and discussion. With Element B, we have used sets of recorded K. Brevis cell count data as a way to think about the more far-reaching effects of Florida’s Red Tide.
Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel H. Dugas
July 1 – August 15, 2018
(1) While at the Bay Preserve, Osprey, we stayed in the Floyd C. and Flo Singer Johnson Center for the Arts residence. The apartment/studio space is located on the upper floor of the Preserve’s restored carriage house. Onsite at the Bay Preserve, the staff of the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast welcomed us to call upon their specific knowledge of the region and we had access to various facilities around the Preserve, including a kayak to get out to sites that are water accessible only.
(2) Using red tide data readings collected weekly by the Florida Department of Health, from 16 beaches along the Gulf of Mexico throughout 2018 we designed a patch referencing the Karenia Brevis levels.
(3) K. Brevis (Florida’s Red Tide): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karenia_brevis K. Brevis naturally produces a suite of potent neurotoxins collectively called brevetoxins, which cause gastrointestinal and neurological problems in other organisms and are responsible for large die-offs of marine organisms and seabirds.
(4) K. Brevis data courtesy: Jennifer Clemente, Environmental Specialist III, Florida Dept of Health, Sarasota County