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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Sea As Sculptress—From Analog to Digital

  • Author(s): Wallen, Ruth
  • et al.

In this paper I consider the potential of digital technology to raise ecological awareness and motivate change, focusing on my artwork, The Sea As Sculptress, a macrophotographic record of the marine life growing on sculptures I placed in the San Francisco Bay. Originally presented thirty years ago as a performative lecture with slide dissolves, I recently redesigned and updated the project as an extensive web site. Here, I present the initial context and intention of the project and then outline the strategies that I employed to translate and re-envision the work in light of both the development of new technologies and changing conceptions of art and ecology. I argue for the importance of collaboration between artists and scientists to develop and promulgate the values and policies necessary to address the many ecological challenges of our times.

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