Behold The Ocean

Five oceanographers and marine biologists are exploring the impact of climate change on our oceans on the Magellan Strait. They study the behavior of whales, dolphins, and sea lions, as well as changes in plankton, algae, and toxic algal blooms.

I will accompany the scientists on their expedition to make the circumstances of climate research and the effects of climate change in the overwhelming landscape of Patagonia accessible through visual media: a printed publication, a short film, and an exhibition are planned to be created with the material I’ll gather on the ocean.

Scientific research and the special circumstances in which it is carried out are mostly exclusive and only accessible to a small part of our society in which technical expertise is already available. The work, particularly in climate research, affects every one of us and everybody who will come after us. As an artist with a journalistic interest and love for research, I would like to create a simplified and at the same time emotionally appealing approach to climate research and its conditions. The visualization and communication of climate change in general discourse often focuses on scenarios of dramatic consequences and protest imagery. While the unique Patagonian landscape will play a role in my work and I want to consciously leave space for images and scenes that arise on-site, I would like to focus on the human aspect in science: How do climate researchers work? Who are the individuals who are looking for solutions under the most difficult conditions that might ultimately change our world? What is the relationship among the researchers and their research environment like?

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Details, Questions and Answers

It is anticipated that the influence of greenhouse gases will raise the temperature of the oceans by 5 ° Celsius within the next fifty to one hundred years. Polar and subpolar regions in the high latitudes will be most affected by climate change in the coming decades. Five oceanologists and marine biologists explore The Strait of Magellan in southernmost Patagonia to understand the long-term impact climate change has on our oceans. The three-year research project ANNUAL DYNAMICS OF AIR-SEA EXCHANGE OF CO2 IN SUBANTARCTIC WATERS: THE ROLE OF GLACIER MELTING AND PRIMARY PRODUCTION AS DRIVERS OF pCO2 IN A PATAGONIAN GLACIAL FJORD is lead by Dr. José Luis Iriarte, professor at the Universidad Austral de Chile. The research group is studying the phenomenon of oceanic acidification due to melting glacial ice in the Seno Ballena region and the resulting changes in behavior of whales, dolphins and sea lions, zoo and phytoplankton, as well as algae and toxic algal blooms. The occurrence of toxic algae bloom has increased in recent years, which has a considerable impact on the communities of Patagonia’s coastal regions who are not independent of tourism. Already in the late 1970s and 80s, toxic algal blooms sometimes had fatal effects on humans leading to death. At the same time, the relationship between climate change and the frequent occurrence of toxic algal blooms in southern Patagonia has not yet been thoroughly researched.

Access to The Strait of Magellan and the group of scientists is something special. With the Behold The Ocean project, I would like to give an approachable insight into the world of climate research and make a contribution to the visibility of scientists. It is a personal project without an institutional character - and that is exactly why I need your support.

If we are successful here, I will make my way to southern Patagonia in August or September. As a limited special edition, the publication is a special in this campaign.

A reverberation: Most urgent issues cannot be stopped by a pandemic - and climate change is one of them. Corona has an impact on all of us, and also on me as a freelance artist and photographer and on the scientists in Chile who are currently struggling with withdrawn fundings for their climate research projects. It is all the more important to me to be able to do this special project and to share the insights into climate research with others, be it digitally and visually, in conversation or completely haptically.

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Friends and Partners

– José Luis Iriarte: an altruistic scientist with faith in a young artist, also the leader of the expedition

– edition fink: wonderful publisher based in Zurich, who will help to edit and publish the print project after the expedition

– Harol Bustos: talented graphic designer based in Chile, who will design the publication

– la_cápsula: atmospheric exhibition venue in Zurich

– Stephan Goldbach: fantastic musician and composer, who will write the music for the short film

– ars imago: the place that saves the at of analog photography thanks to lovely humans and expertise. Entangled in this project as emulsion and communication partners.

– Centro IDEAL: my save harbor in Punta Arenas before and after the expedition

– Richard Photo Lab: development assistants for my exposed films

– One Tree Planted: when you support the project, you’re also planting a tree in the Andes

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