Donut Tank (2019) is a site-specific art work exhibited in the solo exhibition NAUSEA at
Galveston Artist Residency in Galveston, Texas.
In collaboration with NOAA (National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration) marine habitat research specialist, Kristopher Benson and I developed the pictured photobioreactor. The sculpture cultures neon-green Nannocropolis (algae) - a local strain of the Gulf
of Mexico’s microalgae present in harmful algae blooms (HABs). The sculpture prompted
nannochloropsis to multiply at exceedingly higher rates through increased proportions of UV
exposure, nutrients, and circulation. Over the exhibition period, the work transformed into a
living still life, employing light and nutrients to generate pigmentation. As the algae
proliferated, the sculpture rendered a dark green to black pigmentation until it perished from
overpopulation. Analogous to HABs in the Gulf of Mexico, the sculpture underscored the
fragility of ecological systems rather than celebrating anthropocentric supremacy over Earth.
Donut Tank (Bioreactor II), 2019
Acrylic, Nannochloropsis (algae), glass, flexline tubing, LEDs
24h x 24w x 1d IN
Donut Tank (Bioreactor II), 2019 (installation view)Donut Tank, 2019 (installation view)