CREATIVE RESEARCH & EXPERIMENTATION

Digital Naturalism Lab, Dinacon, Gamboa, PANAMA

Art in the Anthropocene August 2019

In 1914 the Panama Canal was forged through the jungles of Panama. This shipping channel became a major factor in the expansion of globalised trade. In many ways, Panama’s Canal Zone represents the epitome of the Anthropocene. Industrial progress rupturing unique ecosystems.

In this setting I was inspired by broken nature. I collected introduced butterfly species and leaves that had been stripped to their skeleton by destructive fungus. I prepared these samples and photographed their finer qualities under microscope. I also collected a selection of field recordings using a hydrophone, two contact mics and a stereo atmospheric mic. Most audio recordings in the Canal Zone contain the sound of an engine. Sounds from passing ships, tug boats, dredging machines, cargo trains and light aircraft form the backdrop to birdsongs, monkey calls and frog choirs. The clash of nature and industry is palpable.

Finally, I collected data relating to the temperature, light, movement and moisture of different ecosystems. This was done using an Arduino and a series of environmental sensors.

I presented the photo-microscopy images, audio and environmental data in an Open Studio showing at the Digital Naturalism Lab, Gamboa, Panama on 17 August 2019.