A lesser-known but important agent of carbon removal from the atmosphere, the Siphonophores, which live in what is known as the twilight zone of the sea, was highlighted during UN Climate Week in a video projection from a Danish art group. increase.
Siphonophores are strangely beautiful creatures. Like coral reefs, it is made up of individual pieces known as zooids that perform special functions. Heidi Sosic, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said: “But they all come together. What humanity thinks is an interesting metaphor.”
From September 21st to 24th next week, Siphonophores will perform a winding, pulsating dance every night from 8pm to 11pm, with a projection of light over 500 feet high across the northern façade of the United Nations Secretariat Building. .. A delegation discussing ways to combat anthropogenic climate change, the video “Translation” aims to draw attention to the deep-sea carbon removal systems of animals.
“This is a gathering of world leaders to determine the future of the planet,” said Rasmus Nielsen, one of the three founders of the video-makered Danish art group Superflex. Said in an interview with. “They seem to forget to invite someone. It’s like a birthday party and forgets to invite their uncle.” According to Nielsen, what has been overlooked is fate. All other species that depend on human activity.
Superflex has chosen to emphasize Siphonophores as a representative of the mesopelagic zone of the ocean, known as the Twilight Zone, which receives little or no sunlight. Residents of the Twilight Zone are eaten by flashy creatures such as tuna and swordfish. But at least just as important is as important as the consumer. It removes carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. “They wake up at night when they can hide from predators and devour carbon-rich creatures, and when the sun rises they descend to hide in this deep dusk zone,” Sosik said.
It is estimated that 2-6 billion tonnes of carbon are sucked into the twilight zone each year and stored there indefinitely. This is several times the amount of carbon emitted by every car in the world. “The carbon pump we’re talking about is very important,” said Peter de Menocal, director of the Oceanographic Institute. “If this disappears, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase by more than 50 percent. These organisms make the Earth habitable.”
“This is a call for very humble action by showing a humble organism that itself shows the importance of cooperation,” he added.
Superflex artists are from the European 10-year-old non-profit organization TBA21-Academy, which encountered the cyphonophore in the Coral Sea off the northeastern coast of Australia in 2019 and aims to deepen awareness and conservation of the ocean through art. He led an expedition to host. .. “One night, a marine biologist took us to a blackwater dive,” Nielsen said. “You go in the middle of the night and witness this huge movement that happens every night when these creatures surface. They have no arms or eyes and are not afraid of you. They are yours. I’m coming to you. I’ve never seen anything like this. “
When Superflex was asked by ART2030 to create the work of Climate Week, a non-profit organization founded in Denmark would involve artists from around the world to emphasize the UN agenda for sustainable development. For that reason, I thought about the cyphonophore. “We felt a strong friendship with these creatures, which is strange because it’s not like a golden retriever,” Nielsen said. “We’re stuck with the pandas and elephants in Disney movies. We decided to invite a rare guest. It’s like every sci-fi movie we’ve seen every night around the world. Thing.”
Shooting Siphonophores is a challenge. “Sometimes they come and stick to your goggles,” Nielsen said. “Sometimes they are 5 meters long and when you get closer they break. They’re like tissue.” Nielsen and his colleague Jacob Fenger capture a few seconds of footage. I spent an hour tied to the blackwater diving drop line. (The third Superflex Principal, Bjorn Stierne Christiansen, was unable to travel that year.)
Based on their videos and videos created by other divers, they devised an animation simulation to create a 20-minute long piece that runs in a continuous loop. “We did something that combined reality and animation to give it a more lifelike feel,” Nielsen said. “In this movie, we see a shift in perspective. At first we see Siphonophores, but we can turn around and see the world from an animal perspective. Siphonophores have no eyes. How can you see the world from a perspective? Through your imagination. “
In parallel with “Translation”, Superflex created another piece “Interspecies Assembly” to be installed Located in Central Park near Naumberg Bandshell. It is a 46-foot circle separated by seven large slabs of pink marble, engraved with the words of the covenant. “When you enter the stone circle, you agree to a contract to stay idle for at least five minutes,” Fenger said. “To understand other creatures on Earth, we need to listen quietly.” Superflex chose pink marble as a hint of coral that the coral polyps eat and color the reefs. “Marble will be there much longer than we are,” Christiansen said.
The existence of Siphonophores has been known for a long time, but research on its behavior is in its early stages. “One of the reasons they are so difficult to study is that we traditionally learn about deep-sea creatures by throwing nets,” Sosik said. “Syphonophores can’t survive on the net.” Her project at Woods Hole developed and launched a slow-moving robot called the Mesobot, which sneaks at the depths of the ocean. Siphonophores do not mistake it for a threat and escape because the mesobot produces very little eddy. The research team also employs shadowgraph images that analyze the bending of rays that collide with gelatinous organisms. “We can put the camera down and continue 15 frames per second for hours,” she said. “When they are in their habitat, they are amazingly beautiful.”
The vast amount of organic matter in the twilight zone has attracted the attention of commercial fisheries that can be harvested for the production of fish meal, krill oil and fish oil used in aquaculture. “Human has a history of overfishing protein sources in the ocean,” Sosik said. Most of the twilight zones are outside the territorial waters and require international cooperation to protect them.
Superflex reveals an ambiguous, large-scale and important phenomenon by applying “translation” to the secretariat building. Markus Reymann, director of TBA21-Academy, which has partnered with ART2030 on the project, said: “This is the first time I’ve done anything on this scale. With the exception of flashy, flashy and huge monuments, it’s an opportunity to convey something symbolic.”
The technique used to create “translation” is novel, but its purpose is to achieve what artists have traditionally sought. In other words, it reveals the characteristics of life that are usually overlooked. “The oldest trick in art books is to get people into something they are unaware of,” Nielsen said. “we hope…