After more than 3 years in development, the GYRE expedition will sail in June 2013!!!! Departing from Seward, Alaska and following along remote coasts of Kodiak Island and the upper Aleutian islands, the research vessel Norseman will travel for 10 days with a crew of artists, scientists, policy makers and crew to discover, research, and gather the vast amounts of plastic waste on these shores. After two scouting missions in 2010 and 2011, I can report untold amounts of material from all over the world on beaches so remote humans rarely tread. And now, the debris from the Japan earthquake/tsunami disaster of 2011 is arriving in droves. We are looking at hi-rez aerial photos of beaches like this (note: the scale is deceiving, the black object on right side is a giant buoy, about 5 feet long…)
The Anchorage Museum and the Alaska SeaLife Center will partner to bring an international team of artists, scientists and educators to the Alaska coastline in 2013 to observe, document and collect marine debris.
An exhibition will debut in February 2014 featuring the expedition’s scientific discoveries and art created from the marine debris gathered on the journey. The 7,000-square-foot exhibition will be displayed 12 weeks at the Anchorage Museum and will include sculpture, paintings, photography, multimedia installations, and science and educational interpretation. Related educational activities will include a book, school tours, family programs and community outreach in rural Alaska. Following its Anchorage debut, Gyre will be repackaged for traveling by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services. The major exhibition project has been sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rauschenberg Foundation, the Surdna Foundation and more.
Gyre is organized by the Alaska Sea Life Center and the Anchorage Museum.
The Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward is a private, non-profit marine science facility dedicated to generating and sharing scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. The Anchorage Museum’s mission is to share and connect Alaska with the world through art, history and science.
Eleven members of the 14-member expedition team have been selected so far:
- Expedition Leader: Howard Ferren, Alaska SeaLife Center
- Curator: Julie Decker, Anchorage Museum
- Scientist: Carl Safina, Founder and President, Blue Ocean Institute and host of PBS series ‘Saving the Ocean’
- Project Artists:
- Photographer: Kip Evans
- Filmographer: JJ Kelly, producer of Nat Geo/PBS ‘Battle for the Elephants’