Artist Entries – The Universal Sea Awards I

Our EU co-funded project The Universal Sea ran three Open Calls to Artists. A big thank to all artists for their great contributions! Here you can find our Top 100 submissions of our first open call from 2017 as a reference. They were all published in the guidebook from 2019.

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POLITICAL PLASTIK – From Frutti di Mare to Mare di...
by Timo Brusewitz
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https://universal-sea.org/calendar/open-call-application-form?contest=photo-detail&photo_id=1494
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Title:
POLITICAL PLASTIK – From Frutti di Mare to Mare di...

Author:
Timo Brusewitz

Description:
On a theoretical level my approach, which is being mediated in an act of performance, can be called “Ironic Dissonance“. In the Political Plastic narrative, “Mare di Frutti“ is both, a soft drink that can be purchased like any other consumer good and the company’s name. Crucial to the production of Mare di Frutti is a resource that is both colourful and abundant: plastic parts found in coastal waters. In the water, these plastic parts are subdued to extreme and permanent weathering, which alters their form, colour, and surface structure. Nature correlates with this synthetic waste, continually reshaping and finally transforming it into Frutti di Mare. As such, synthetic plastic is being upgraded to an organic material, it is transformed into a high-value natural product. In this story, plastic waste is being seen as a part of (positively connoted) nature. It is a valuable resource, both practically and ideationally, which is being “fished” out of coastal waters. It is a raw material that cannot be obtained by recycling but is present in nature. Analogue of Microplastics, the collected Frutti di Mare is being processed to fine granule or so-called Mikrofrutti, which looks like colourful plastic sand. Afterwards, this is being put into contact with a certain microbe species that was discovered by a team led by Kohei Oda of the Kyoto Institute of Technology in Japan and which carries the name “ideonella sakaiensis”. This microbe has the ability to metabolically convert polyethylene terephthalate (PET): it breaks down plastic in a type of brewing process and metabolizes it into organic material. Before this mixture is being packaged and sold as a soft drink, desalinated and purified seawater is being added. Since “ideonella skaiensis” transformed Frutti di Mare into organic material, toxicological effects are not to be dreaded: the plastic water can be easily broken down by the human body. And that’s the company’s mission.
Description:
On a theoretical level my approach, which is being mediated in an act of performance, can be called “Ironic Dissonance“. In the Political Plastic narrative, “Mare di Frutti“ is both, a soft drink that can be purchased like any other consumer good and the company’s name. Crucial to the production of Mare di Frutti is a resource that is both colourful and abundant: plastic parts found in coastal waters. In the water, these plastic parts are subdued to extreme and permanent weathering, which alters their form, colour, and surface structure. Nature correlates with this synthetic waste, continually reshaping and finally transforming it into Frutti di Mare. As such, synthetic plastic is being upgraded to an organic material, it is transformed into a high-value natural product. In this story, plastic waste is being seen as a part of (positively connoted) nature. It is a valuable resource, both practically and ideationally, which is being “fished” out of coastal waters. It is a raw material that cannot be obtained by recycling but is present in nature. Analogue of Microplastics, the collected Frutti di Mare is being processed to fine granule or so-called Mikrofrutti, which looks like colourful plastic sand. Afterwards, this is being put into contact with a certain microbe species that was discovered by a team led by Kohei Oda of the Kyoto Institute of Technology in Japan and which carries the name “ideonella sakaiensis”. This microbe has the ability to metabolically convert polyethylene terephthalate (PET): it breaks down plastic in a type of brewing process and metabolizes it into organic material. Before this mixture is being packaged and sold as a soft drink, desalinated and purified seawater is being added. Since “ideonella skaiensis” transformed Frutti di Mare into organic material, toxicological effects are not to be dreaded: the plastic water can be easily broken down by the human body. And that’s the company’s mission.
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