In preparation for my upcoming installation exhibition at Crisp Ellert Art Museum at Flagler College, opening March 2nd, I am planning a piece which includes objects created for the estuarial oyster reef at GTM. These ready-made concrete objects, designed by The Reef Ball Foundation specifically for oyster habituation, will appear at the museum as part of the installation, then moved permanently to GTM.
The Reef Ball Foundation has generously donated several of these "oyster ball" reef objects for my project. Each of these nine objects, arranged in rows on the floor of the museum, will contain a waterproof mini bluetooth speaker, playing recordings of sounds from the oyster reef. Part of the idea behind this piece is based upon a recent study that shows oysters sense where to take root in reef formations by "hearing" certain sounds for cues.
I think of this installation, entitled Architectural Array for Oysters, as an imagined sound installation for animals. At least it creates a space to consider what the experience of an animal might be.
I have noticed that the objects resemble the shape of the oyster shell mounds where archeological artifacts are frequently found at GTM.
The Reef Ball Foundation does crucial restorative work for ocean ecosystems. From their site:
"Our projects include designed artificial reefs, ground breaking coral propagation and planting systems, estuary restoration, red mangrove plantings, oyster reef restoration, erosion control (often beach erosion), and expert collaberation on a variety of oceanic issues."
I am so grateful for the participation and support of The Reef Ball Foundation in this project, and have enjoyed learning more about the work they do.