Sargassum Summer
August 19, 2019
Video, Single channel projection. Color. Sound. 8:40 min. 2019
Sargassum Summer



This video work, recorded on an iPhone during the summer of 2019, depicts an influx of sargassum algae accumulating on the coast of St. Philip, Barbados. Producing dense mats spanning upwards of 5.5 miles and consisting of over 20 million metric tons of biomass, sargassum has been migrating from West Africa across the Atlantic to the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The seaweed bloom, linked to deforestation and the use of fertilizers, has been known to trap turtles, choke coral and seagrasses, and release hydrogen sulfide in large quantities.

As a work with an emphasis on postproduction techniques, the piece seeks to consider the visual politics of climate change. Equally a document and a query, its low resolution and acidic coloration poses the question of how the representational history of the landscape genre will develop in response to ecologically mutative processes, thus changing our conception of nature while also being changed by it.