An Expedition and Exhibition with Marine Debris as Material and Message
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a floating raft of trash the size of Mexico. Similar accumulations of human debris exist in every ocean. A flip-flop discarded in Thailand finds its way to Hawaii, and a bottle cast off from Japan's tsunami is soon on an Alaska beach. The world shrinks as we all become connected through our litter, yet somehow we are still severed from the problem we've created. Garbage is killing the very life that depends on the ocean as a source of food and habitat. Now, in one of the most breathtaking places on the planet, a unique scientific expedition and art exhibition will bring the problem into perspective.
J.J. Kelley, producer/director, Adrian Pruett, producer/editor
The Anchorage Museum and Alaska SeaLife Center have partnered to bring an international team of artists, scientists and educators to the Alaska coastline June 7, 2013 to observe, document and collect marine debris. The team will spend a week traveling 450 nautical miles aboard the R/V Norseman traveling west from Resurrection Bay along the Kenai Peninsula coast, then crossing the Kennedy Entrance channel to Shuyak and Afognak islands. The expedition ends with an intensive cleanup of Hallo Bay in Katmai National Park, a remote area seeing an influx of debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami.
The Gyre exhibition, on view February through September 2014 at the Anchorage Museum, will tell a global ocean debris story through the work of more than 20 artists from around the world. The 7,500-square-foot exhibition will include a section specific to Alaska featuring the 2013 expedition's resulting scientific discoveries, as well as art created from the marine debris gathered on Alaska's beaches during the journey. The exhibition also incorporates content from the Burke Museum's Plastics Unwrapped, offering a balanced scientific and cultural history of how plastics are used in our daily lives.
Mandy Barker, England
Edward Burtynsky, Canada
Dianna Cohen, Los Angeles
Fran Crowe, England
John Dahlsen, Australia
Mark Dion, New York
Joan Hall, St. Louis
Andrew Hughes, England
Chris Jordan, Seattle
Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Anchorage
Karen Larsen, Anchorage
Elizabeth Leader, Buffalo, N.Y.
Max Liboiron, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Pam Longobardi, Atlanta
Susan Middleton, San Francisco
Cynthia Minet, Los Angeles
Tuula Narhinen, Finland
Anne Percoco, Jersey City, N.J.
Tim Remick, Anchorage
Alexis Rockman, New York
Evelyn Rydz, Boston
Educational activities include a book, school tours, public programs, and community outreach in rural Alaska.
Following its Anchorage debut, Gyre will be repackaged for traveling by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services and will tour museums across the United States.
Gyre is organized by the Alaska Sea Life Center and the Anchorage Museum.
The Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward is a private, non-profit marine science facility dedicated to generating and sharing scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska's marine ecosystems.
The Anchorage Museum's mission is to share and connect Alaska with the world through art, history and science.
WHAT IS A GYRE?
A gyre is a swirling vortex. The surface circulation of our oceans is dominated by gyres that may be hundreds to thousands of miles in diameter. It is these gyres that re-distribute and aggregate debris in our oceans. Alaska's shores are the northern fringe of the North Pacific Gyre, which is associated with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Help support this unique blending of scientific exploration with artistic expression by donating online.