Constructed from high strength pH-neutral cement and incorporating tensile stainless steel coral anchoring points, The Phoenix is first kinetic sculpture in the MUSA collection. Based on a female form her wings are propagated with living purple gorgonian fan coral (Gorgonia ventalina) which continuously moves back and forth underwater filtering nutrients from the water column. The fan coral which is often naturally uprooted and dislodged from strong storms and waves was rescued and replanted from imperiled fragments found on nearby sand areas. The sculpture is orientated into the prevailing current and the wings of the Phoenix appear to beat with the natural cycle of the waves.
Partnering with Marine Biologist Heather Spence and Colegio Ecab A.C, The Listener portrays a lone figure that is assembled entirely from casts of human ears molded during a workshop of local Cancun students aged 8-12. The sculpture located within the National Marine Park of Cancun is fitted with a revolutionary NOAA-designed hydrophone, which is continually recording sounds from the reef environment and storing the data to an internal water resistant Hard drive.
Although the marine environment is often referred to as the silent world it is actually reverberating with a myriad of noises from, crustaceans clicking, fish feeding, waves breaking to boats passing overhead. Sound also travels approximately four times faster in water than in air. This experimental method of non-invasive Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) aims to try to understand some of complex sound activities that are taking place underwater and see if this data can in turn be used for conservation and research.
The form symbolizes a passive relationship between humans and nature whilst aiming to engage local students in reef conservation and draw focus to the much-needed ability to listen.
Working in partnership with: University of North Carolina, University of Hawaii, Universidad del Caribe, Proyecto Domino and CONAMP.