Join the SciArt Center for the closing reception of member Mara G. Haseltine's studio in DUMBO. Mara G. Haseltine practices ‘geotherapy’, focusing on the link between biological and social evolution. She was an early pioneer in the translation of bioinformatics into three-dimensional sculptures, infusing microscopic forms into her work that either create awareness of scientific discovery and environmental issues or literally heal damaged aquatic environments through reef restoration for corals and oysters. This open studio will highlight three of the artist's most recent sciart creations.
La Bohème: A Portrait of Today’s Oceans in Peril
Plankton plays a crucial role in regulating our planet's atmosphere. These microscopic creatures create half the world’s oxygen, sequester carbon dioxide, and are the basic building block of the ocean's food chain. To create this body of work, the artist collected plankton samples from water bodies around the world and aboard the schooner Tara Oceans 2009-2012. These samples revealed an alarming truth: they not only contained the delicate otherworldly forms of plankton, but also microscopic shreds of UV-degraded plastic, pollution that was only visible through the microscope.
This discovery inspired the artist to make La Bohème: A Portrait of Today’s Oceans in Peril, an homage to the tradition of turn-of-the-century glass marine invertebrates created for universities and museums around the world by the German father-son team of Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka. In contrast to the purity of this earlier work Haseltine's La Bohème is composed of handblown glass plankton ensnared by or clinging to micro-degraded plastic made of resin, creating a very different portrait of our contemporary oceans from that seen a century ago.
La Bohème: A Portrait of Today’s Oceans in Peril has been used as set pieces in live performances and a short video based on Giaconda Puccini's tragic opera, La Bohème, set in 1840s Paris. La Bohème depicts the poor young poet Rodolfo, who falls in love with Mimi, a young grisette who is dying of consumption. In this case, however, Mimi is a plankton sculpture ensnared in degrading plastic, a representation of our ailing oceans. The conclusion for the viewer is a new awareness of how our fate is intimately linked with that of our oceans.
See a preview of the live performance here:
Also on view:
Also on view will be the model for her recent installation Homologous Hope installed this past year in the Rafael Vinoly medical building on the University of Pennsylvania Medical campus Basser Center. The Basser Center is devoted to discovering ways to prevent and treat inherited breast cancer by focusing on particular the BRAC2 protein, which has the potential to mend broken strands of DNA.
Haseltine interviewed the scientists and the donors John and Mindy Gray for inspiration, using submolecular data from the BRAC2 protein for her armature which was carved using digitally aided milling machines. Homologous Hope depicts a key activity of the BRAC2 protein, correctly joining the broken ends of DNA. Some inherited forms of cancers (breast, ovarian, and prostate) arise as a consequence of defects that render the protein incapable of performing this essential function. Homologous Hope is a delicate work of art that floats like a cloud in the atrium.
Ultimate Restoration of Oyster Urban Habitat
The third work at her open studio, Enchanted Oyster Sweet Spot and Oyster Island from The Ultimate Restoration of Oyster Urban Habitat Series for Future Aquatic Life, is a playful installation stemming from a series of oyster-related experiments. For this work, Haseltine created a unique sculpture, comprising material substrates that oyster larvae love to settle on, that goes along with a hand book containing the oyster reef recipe for sustainable reef building, which avoid the use of plastic or concrete. Haseltine notes, "The concept is that if you sank the work it could become a reef." The handbook is based on experiments she has conducted for the past seven years with the New York/New Jersey Baykeepers, Global Coral Reef Alliance, Cornell Marine Exchange and The New School.
To see more of the artist's work, visit: www.calamara.com
This event, co-sponsored by SciArt Center, is free and open to the public.
Beverages will be served.
RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/381191135365113/
Date: November 19th, 2014
Address: 10 Jay St #620 Brooklyn NY