Species Encounter: Dive In! at GLOW a festival of Light, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History

GLOW festival – Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Friday, October 17, 2014
From 7:00 to 10pm
705 Front Street | Santa Cruz | CA 95060
The MAH website page


Species Encounter: Dive In! is an interactive multimedia installation, which comprises a large shadow theater, a series of animal shapes and a video projection. The public is invited to move the shapes as the video is projected from behind the screen.

“Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in our oceans. Around the world, plastic pollution has become a growing plague, clogging our waterways, and damaging marine ecosystems. 44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies. Most of what we eat, drink, or use in any way comes packaged in petroleum plastic- a material designed to last forever, yet used for products that we then throw away.
Seek out alternatives to the plastic items that you rely on.”

The installation is an allegory for the plastic we consume ending up invading the seas and oceans, being absorbed and eaten by many different marine species and threatening them. In the installation, the animals shapes of fish (like lanternfish and opah), sea turtles (like leatherback sea turtle and hawksbill turtle) and marine mammals (like harbor seals, sperm whales, dolphins), are made of recyclable cardboard. The center of each shape is filled with recycled plastic packaging.

The installation was originally created by Michele Guieu and became a collaborative work with Drew Detweiler bringing the interactive video component to the project. The projection is generated from drawings and video footage combined together to create an ever changing underwater-scape.

Species Encounter: Dive in! at subZERO

SubZERO festival
San Jose, CA – South First Street – June 6 and 7 – from 6 pm to midnight
Interactive installation in collaboration with videographer Drew Detweiler.

I am interested in having people interact with the pieces I create and add their own elements in my installations. The energy between people is a key part of this installation. When people interact they create a unique scenario and bring the piece to life. Participative art is a much needed community anchor in the uncertain times we live in, as global environmental problems will eventually force us to unite and find solutions collectively. Water is my subject of choice, “Species Encounter: Dive in!” is about seas and oceans life and I hope the poetry of  the installation help people think more about those vital eco-systems.

Visitors are invited to play on a screen with shapes created for the project. Visitors can enjoy the installation from inside (making the shapes move) and/or from outside (watching).

This year for subZERO festival I teamed up with Drew Detweiler, interactive videographer, to take you into a moving ocean of light. Drew created a video projection generated from a series of drawings about water,”Water Dreams”, that I have made in the past months and which is on display at Kaleid Gallery in San Jose. The video is projected on the giant shadow theatre.

What will you encounter? You are invited to create your own species/object/hybrid or to use one designed for the project. Watch, interact, participate and play!

This installation is temporary and the material used is reusable. The shapes are made of cardboard and recycled plastic bottles. They can be re-used for another performance or new ones can be made and then recycled.

Species Encounter was first shown at subZERO festival in June 2013, then the installation  was part of the GLOW festival at the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz last Fall, was shown during the Innovation Summit at the Convention Center and at the Tech museum for a private event in San Jose in 2014.