Screenprint and linocut on plankton-mesh off cuts, foam core boxes, UV fluorescent light, 2013

575mm (w) 385mm (d) 120mm (h)


For the Living Data 2013 exhibition, I experimented with fabrics, lights and fluorescent printing inks. I screen and block-printed on off-cuts of the mesh types used for collecting plankton in the ocean and treated this experimentation as a scientific research process. I decided to present my experiments as real and imaginary diatoms specimens in a box.


“Microscopic phytoplankton are the foundation of Life and are threatened by our massive consumption of fossil fuels. Illuminated objects are made that suggest microscopic views and myriad phytoplankton running around the globe. Luminous Specimens comprise two light boxes, each with circles cut into them to reveal results of six experiments with glow-in-the-dark screen printing ink and phosphorescent powders. They are presented in specimen boxes to reflect scientific research into the bioluminescent and photo-synthetic quality of phytoplankton”.

From: Notes of the Living Data Exchange exhibition, by Lisa Roberts.

The Whole marine ecosystem depends, more than anything, on phytoplankton. Phytoplankton depends on physical conditions, such as sunlight, nutrients, and water temperature, and act as a bridge between the physical and the biological by being the very basis of the food chain. (240)

Lisa-Ann Gerschwin, Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the future of the Ocean, University of Chicago Press, 2013

Photo credit image #5: Stephen Pierce