Carter Shappy '15
Our goal is to shed local light on the cutting-edge and incredibly important research that Bigelow has been conducting, and to explore the relationships between artistic and scientific creativity and discovery.
Printmaking alum Carter Shappy Printmaking '15 is the Artist-in-Residence at Bigelow Lab. After graduation, Carter wanted to expand his practice to incorporate a science component; MECA connected him with Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay. You can follow his blog at art.bigelow.org.
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science's mission is to investigate the microbial drivers of global ocean processes through basic and applied research, education, and enterprise. What is learned will be essential to the conservation and responsible use of the ocean and the many valuable services it provides.
Carter has worked with scientist Senior Research Scientist Dr. Steve Archer and Research Associate Carlton Rauschenberg who are researching the impacts of ocean acidification on microbiological producers of DMS (dimethyl sulfide), a gas involved in heat reflecting cloud formation. The three of them have spent the last four months investigating the relationships between scientific and artistic creativity and discovery, while trying to coalesce Carter’s art and Dr. Archer’s research into one engaging and immersive installation.
This influenced Carter to create a series of 6 suspended screen-printed plastic cylinders, each cylinder reflecting a color of the visible light spectrum hung in order in relation to each color’s absorption at varying depths of open ocean. The piece, Colorcosm, directly emulates the form of pelagic mesocosms, which are experimental water enclosures used in Dr. Archer’s research on ocean acidification and sea/atmosphere gas exchange.
The end result is a gorgeous installation, Fantastic Empiricism: The Science of Mesocosms and the Expression of Light which is on view in the the lab until September 2016.