Plastisphere Project Info & Statement

Plastisphere” – an ecological community of microbial organisms living on ocean plastic that was first discovered in 2013”. – American Geophysical Union

The Welcome to the Plastisphere project is created by a collaborative team of interdisciplinary artists; Karen Hackenberg, Margie McDonald, and Gloria Lamson.

For this project, Hackenberg leads fellow artists and volunteers to create a site responsive installation that offers a beautiful yet disturbing view of imagined sea-life-gone-astray as the result of the plastics that are now an integral part of marine environment. Welcome to the Plastisphere has been installed in various locations in the Northwest including the Museum of Northwest Art and Northwind Art Center, and will next be installed in the Washington State Department of Ecology’s LEED® EB Silver Headquarters building in Olympia, WA.

In this ongoing project, the team cuts, shapes, and draws on beach-found and recycled plastic bottles to craft eerily beautiful imaginary sea creatures, and uses the trash that has washed up on local Northwest shores and landfills, the very stuff that has been purchased and discarded and is now harming our oceans.Threaded and suspended from above, these fantastical plastic sea creatures glitter in the sunlight and move gently in the breeze, creating the illusion of being underwater. The project team hopes that this seductive beauty draws visitors in to see and physically experience the prevalence of plastics in our environment, and to imagine their own new ways of joining in to decrease toxic plastics in our environment.

For more information, please find us on Facebook at Welcome to the Plastisphere.