Lenses and rhythms in the sea in crisis
(University of Exeter)
Paper short abstract:
This paper explores interactions between changing bio- and geo-rhythms in tidal zones of the sea in environmental crisis, human temporal experiences and temporalities of scientific investigations in relation to the materiality of scientific lenses.
Paper long abstract:
"Seawater", writes Stefan Helmreich, "prompted Boas to consider qualitative aspects of seeing". Reporting on preliminary results of a transdisciplinary conversation between a visual artist (Deborah Robinson) and a marine scientist (Simon Rundel) and myself, this paper tries to link lenses and rhythms in the sea. We seek to draw attention to the limitations of human temporal experiences, which potentially compromise the ways in which we respond to the crisis in the sea, and ask for example how do the temporal rhythms of bodies of marine organisms, used to sensing in an aqueous world, get modified and adjusted to environmental changes? What emerges when ways of seeing become attuned to the interlocking of bio- and geo rhythms of organisms in intertidal zones and their alterations due to climate change. How do these rhythms interact with human experiences, scientific measurements and earthly cycles? For example, marine organisms inhabiting the intertidal zone adjust their body clocks to tidal cycles as well as the diurnal and seasonal cycles experienced by humans. How do the marine rhythms of life connect to planetary and terrestrial ones? Altering perceptions and cultivating new rhythms require transdisciplinary approaches and interventions. In addition to questions of time scales and interlocking of rhythms, we raise questions about lenses, literally and metaphorically. Experimenting with film and seawater lenses we seek to interrogate simultaneously the temporalities of scientific investigations and the materiality of its own lenses.