Infusing Art with Technology by Leah Walko

Silent Evolution by Jason deCaires Taylor

Expression and Intention

The artist is seeking to use underwater art installations to double as artificial reefs. The sculptures submerged in the ocean all seem to have a common theme that echoes back to the lives of humans. They portray events such as the financial crash of 2008, the refugee crisis and other large events. Most of the sculptures cast negative light on human existence, but a few sculptures cast a positive light on the way humans can work together to help the environment. Furthermore, these art installations provide a base to build up reefs that have been destroyed. The idea of tragedy and rebuilding afterwards seems especially prevalent as a theme in the art installations.

Alternative Expression

There are a variety of different ways to explore the idea of underwater preservation. In particular, I imagine using soft technologies to to create an entirely fake underwater ecosystem. Silicon and various other soft materials could be used to imitate fish, plants and reefs. In a way, it wouldn’t just be preservation or rebuilding, but it would be creating an entirely new ecosystem.

Technical Papers

A. T. Jones and R. W. Welsford, “Artificial reefs in British Columbia, Canada,” Oceans ’97. MTS/IEEE Conference Proceedings, Halifax, NS, Canada, 1997, pp. 415-418 vol.1, doi: 10.1109/OCEANS.1997.634399.

J. Luong et al., “Eversion and Retraction of a Soft Robot Towards the Exploration of Coral Reefs,” 2019 2nd IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft), Seoul, Korea (South), 2019, pp. 801-807, doi: 10.1109/ROBOSOFT.2019.8722730.

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