In conjunction with the IFF's Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef exhibition at Track 16 Gallery, please join us this Saturday as we get serious about plastic trash.
While living reefs around the world are disappearing, a sinister substitute is building beneath the waves. In the north Pacific Ocean a huge gyre of plastic trash is amassing that is now twice the size of Texas and at least 30 meters deep. This "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" is the byproduct of 50 years of human engagement with plastic and an ever-increasing index of our dependency on this quintessentially modern industrial material. The IFF is delighted to present a rare opportunity to hear from the world expert on oceanic plastic trash, Captain Charles Moore, who led the Greenpeace vessel Esperanza on a mission to study the Garbage Patch. Captain Moore's research has revealed that in this area of ocean there are six pounds of plastic for every pound of living phytoplankton. In extended talk - accompanied by videos and actual samples of oceanic trash, including the green plastic "sand" that now periodically inundates Hawaiian beaches - Captain Moore will describe his research on the Garbage Patch and discuss the history of human involvement with plastic. The lecture will be preceded by a workshop on crocheting plastic bags. Both events are free and open to the public. No reservations are required.
Date: Saturday Jan 17, 2009.
Place: Track 16 Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave, Bldg C-1, Santa Monica, CA 90404
2-4pm: Workshop on Crocheting Plastic Bags
Reef wranglers in chief, Margaret and Christine Wertheim will lead a hands-on workshop in crocheting plastic bags. The Wertheims will discuss the plastic component of the Crochet Reef Project and their own midden of plastic trash that occupies one corner of the Track 16 exhibition.
4-6pm: Lecture and discussion with Captain Charles Moore, accompanied by large assortment of items from Moore's personal collection of oceanic trash, including samples of a new kind of rock that is formed when plastic garbage fuses with molten lava.
Captain Charles Moore is a third generation resident of Long Beach, California who grew up sailing with his father to remote destinations from Guadelupe to Island to Hawaii. In 1997 after a yacht race to Hawaii he veered from his usual sea route and discovered an ocean he had never known. Describing his first glimpse on the region he writes: "there were shampoo caps and soap bottles and plastic bags and fishing floats as far as I could see. Here I was in the middle of the ocean, and there was nowhere I could go to avoid the plastic." As a response to this environmental horror, Moore set up the Algalita Foundation which is committed to researching the phenomenon of oceanic trash and to raising public awareness about plastic waste in general. Captain Moore has now done ocean and coastal sampling for plastic fragments over 20,000 miles of the north Pacific Ocean, across 22 degrees of latitude and 50 degrees of longitude.