Cammack Lindsey Una nave pirate e ostreopsis ribelle, al molo starà

Cammack Lindsey’s musical video essay is focused on the “entanglements between ecosystem failure and the exploitation of labour from humans and non-humans alike under extractive capitalism”. They are interested in a different relationship between humans and their environment, one which emerges by establishing connections that transcend species and time.

By Mattis Kuhn

In order to find local relations, as suggested for instance by Donna Haraway in “Staying with the Trouble”, Lindsey spent time during their residency in Genoa searching the city for links between the local environment and the influence exerted by humans and their history on this environment.

In collaboration with a number of local research institutions (Bioinspired Soft Robotics Lab des Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, ARPAL (Regional Agency for the Environmental Protection in Liguria) and the Benthic Ecology Lab, University of Genoa) they created “una nave pirate e ostreopsis ribelle, al molo starà”. This multimedia video project is a combination that includes poetry, sound, 3D objects, song, non-human actors, scientific research, robotics, and the environmental transformations caused by human activity.

Their work focuses on cyanobacteria and other microalgae. Cyanobacteria are some of the oldest living creatures in existence and they developed photosynthesis, as a result of which oxygen was produced. Reproduction of these cyanobacteria resulted in a sudden increase in oxygen levels around 2.5 billion years ago, causing a fundamental change in living conditions on Earth and establishing the basis for life on Earth today. Man-made impact on the environment since the 1970s has caused an increased spread of these cyanobacteria and other microalgae, whose blooms (known as algal blooms) emit toxic substances. In 2005 microalgae of the species Ostreopsis off the coast of Genoa entered the human body via aerosols, where they had a detrimental effect on health. This is the starting point for Lindsey’s journey, which is a rich tapestry involving cyanobacteria, the Italian General Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Suez Canal, industrialisation, workers joining together to form movements, Pirate Jenny from the Threepenny Opera, a “GrowBot” based on an overgrowth of Ostreopsis, and a range of other agents.