Linocut embossing with phosphorescent powder, 2013

1000 mm (h) 700 mm (w)

Another linocut from my Mesh Suite series invited more experimentation. Phytoplankton Courante features a pattern of (real and imaginary) diatoms, the small marine algae which are one of the great photo-synthesizers in the ocean. Many marine algae are bioluminescent. In order to express this characteristic, I wanted to print a version of the Phytoplankton Courante not only with mica powder, but also phosphorescent powder.  In daylight, the phosphorescent powder will be charged, but is barely noticable. However, it radiates a turquoise light in a dark environment.


I designed the pattern to be continuous, so I could also use it for a special project designed for the Living data-Art from Climate Science Exhibition during the Ultimo Science 2013 festival in Sydney Australia.


Water transparency is affected by the density of phytoplankton and can easily be assessed by measuring chlorophyll, a pigment in plants including phytoplankton. The researchers divided the world’s oceans into 10 logical regions and found that chlorophyll had declined in 8 of these regions. They estimated the global rate of decline at about 1 percent per year. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that these long-term global declines in phytoplankton are related to climate variability, particularly to increasing sea surface temperature… (237)


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