Friday, 24 February 2012

busy day in the office crate today.

confirmation on next marine science lab visit - excellent, 13 March.

letter to marine science students (i) posted out, see below.

letter to neighbours (ii) composed and to be delivered this evening with responses requested for next wednesday, see below.


Hello Scientists!

My name is Mandy and I am currently a 3rd Year Fine Art BA (Hons) Student with Plymouth University. I am looking into crossing boundaries and gathering visual material in Environmental/Ecological Marine Science. I work predominantly in time based medium, so video and also installation. 
My current work, titled sub/supra ii, has been inspired by your research into ‘microplastics’ within our seas and its connection with the domestic washing machine. 
Would any of you be interested in meeting and assisting me in capturing images of the sand samples I have taken from Downderry beach, Cornwall. Ironically, I am hoping to find evidence of these microplastics and then to take them into my work with a view to possibly using them in my Fine Art Degree Show, June 2012. You will of course be given credit for this should the material be used, I will thank you for your time anyway.
I opened a blog this week so please feel free to take a look to gain a further understanding of my practice. 
Please feel free to take a look at my website also. 
I look forward to hearing from you.
Very best wishes

Dear Neighbours of ( ),
I hope you are all well?
Some of you may be aware that for the past 3 years I have been studying my BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art at Plymouth University. I am now in the closing months leading up to my final Degree Show.
I am writing to you now as I was wondering if you may be interested in taking part within my work?
Some scientists believe tiny fibres of plastic, ‘microplastics’, are floating around in our seas. Research suggests that these tiny fibres are not only a result of biodegradeable plastics breaking down but possibly a result of the laundering of our clothes in domestic washing machines. The machine waste water is carried out to our seas through sewage outlets. It is suggested that these microplastics may be a result of manmade fabric fibres, polymers, that we are all possibly wearing within our daily lives: nylon, polyester and acrylic are just a small example, and all of which may be found in sportswear, thermal clothing and clothing in general. Remember the media coverage of ‘fleeces being made from plastic recycled bottles’ in the 1990’s? It is believed that from a single wash in a machine, of 1 fleece top, 1900 fibres came away. Scientists concerns are that these tiny fibres, containing toxins, may be entering the marine foodchain. The worm eats the microplastic, the fish eats the worm, then we eat the fish. 
Now let me tell you where you could come in. My work is currently titled sub/supra ii, don’t shoot the messenger. I am interested in the connection of the domestic washing machine to the sewage outlet (I am looking at Downderry’s at this time). My work is predominantly video/installation. Documentation takes place in two locations - Downderry beach and the home.  I have been documenting our washing machine in action using video. Capturing sounds and snippets of conversations whilst the washing machine is in action has interested me; we live our lives, the machines washes, the sewage pipe takes the waste water containing plastic to the sea. Everything and everybody plays a part, hence, don’t shoot the messenger.
What I would like to do is to be able to document your washing machine/lives ‘in action’ for just 12 mins. It would be a case of me dropping in at your convenience, taking a few minutes to set up the video camera (this is set looking directly at the machine) - switching on - leaving you and your washing machine - then returning once recording is completed - pack up and away I go. It is likely this will be shown at the 2012 Degree Show, so the public will see it - I will not be giving away your identification, however. 
My intention with this work is to share a message to those that will take part within and, also those that will see my work. However I fear it is a message that resembles shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. I cannot see how we as individuals can contribute to preventing this. Maybe this could be something you could discuss while the video, with microphone, is running? Of course, you are welcome to leave the washing machine to be the main star of the video! You do not need to be recorded in any way if you do not wish.
I have enclosed a reply slip and self addressed envelope. If you could fill this in before Wednesday 29th Feb, then pop it through my door (Number  * ) that would be great. It would be lovely to have you on board but there is no pressure to take part so please don’t feel obliged. You will still be valued as a neighbour and very welcome to attend the Show in June!
Thank you for your time,
With very best wishes,

Now time to put the kettle on and digest Art and Science by Sian Ede, (2005), IB Tauris & Co Ltd.

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