Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Char Miller

Reader 2

Nina Karnovsky

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Rights Information

© 2019 Ivan Langesfeld


Scientific evidence that the ocean plastic crisis is larger in scale and more sinister than previously thought continues to mount, but the rate of plastic production is only rising. What will it take to decisively turn the tide against plastic? We need scientists, politicians, and industry changemakers to continue producing knowledge and positive change in the industry, but we need to go further still. This thesis explores art as an alternative visual communication strategy with the capacity to encourage curiosity, empathy, and positive engagement with the issue of ocean plastics. The series of work explores bacterial bioluminescence as an artistic medium in juxtaposition with objects of found ocean plastic. The photographs in the series build on the concepts of mutualism, illumination, critical densities, and interspecies communication to reimagine how we might further the discourse around ocean plastic.