Marine Caves and Benthic Terrazzo

2020-22

 

The project “Marine Caves and Benthic Terrazzo”, developed as part of the Studiotopia residency, is a multilayered approach of the problematics the marine ecosystems face in the present and those they will face in the future. The project involved scientist led field studies, film production, prototype building and pop up labs all aiming at better understanding the consequences of human activity on the marine environment and motivating the designing of solutions to mitigate some of these consequences

 

Hypercomf collaborated with marine biologist Markos Digenis who’s research focuses on marine caves.

Marine caves are unique and isolated refuges of biodiversity, many of which used to be terrestrial and have become marine as sea levels naturally slowly rise, a process we are currently speeding up ten fold. Will our flooded coastal city homes be future marine caves? 

This work was produced during the Studiotopia program hosted by Onassis Stegi and cofounded by the Creative Europe program of the European Union with the scientific consultation of marine biologist Markos Digenis , and equipment/material support from Blue Cycle Official network.

Marine Caves and Benthic Terrazzo

2021

15 min. video essay

A conversation between

Marine biologist Markos Digenis

Marine biologist, HCMR researcher and Assistant proffesor of marine biodiversity, Vasilis Gerovasileiou

Marine biologist and HCMR researcher Thanos Dailianis

with HYPERCOMF

 

Directed and produced by HYPERCOMF

Underwater Director of photography, Ioulios Glabedakis

Director of photography, Alexandros Tiniakos

 

Special thanks

Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR)

Nikos Giannoulakis and Chania Diving Center

Ioannis Nikiforos

Christos Douros

Made on the occasion of "New digital deal" Ars Electronica 2021

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Photos by Marine biologist and HCMR researcher Thanos Dailianis

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Benthic Terrazzo are a series of floor tiles, prototypes of a custom technique based on the traditional Venetian terrazzo.

The technique incorporates oceanic pollutants such as plastic objects, microplastics, nets and ropes replacing part of the concrete and sand mixture typically used. Marine plastic pollutants are notoriously hard to recycle, the technique makes use of this waste mixture, in a scalable technique that can be recreated with or without the use of specialized equipment.

The tiles of the Benthic Terrazzo series are based on photo quadrats depicting the biodiversity of the walls ,floors and ceilings of marine caves in Crete and their distinct ecological zones from light to absolute dark. These marine caves used to be terrestrial thousands of years ago, they were slowly flooded by the rising sea levels a naturally occurring phenomenon which has lately been accelerated, due to human activities. The terrazzo tiles speed-up the unavoidable by reintroducing man made pollutants back to the human home, relating human homes as spaces to the marine caves that serve as homes for the biodiversity that inhabits them.

 

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Prototype tiles

L: 3 cm W: 50cm H: 50cm each

Produced in 2022, GR

 Cement, sea shells, marble and granite, marine plastic waste and drifted plastic collected from the shores of Tinos island,

marine plastic waste collected and processed by Blue Cycle official.

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