Mariele Neudecker – For Now We See

September 2013 and June 2014

British Science Festival, Newcastle
Science in the City, EuroScience Open Forum 2014, Copenhagen

‘For Now We See’ was exhibited at the 2013 British Science Festival in Newcastle and at Science in the City EuroScience Open Forum in 2014 in Copenhagen. The work was also shown in Regency House at ‘HOUSE 2013′ for Brighton Festival. 

“Almost everywhere we were working, we saw evidence of human impact. A lot of that evidence is from deep sea fishing and the effects of plastics.”

– Professor Alex Rogers

‘For Now We See’ was created through Neudecker’s collaboration with Professor Alex Rogers, marine biologist at Oxford University and founder of IPSO a campaign to support the oceans. The piece is the result of 16 terabytes of video taken by cameras attached to a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that travelled to a depth of 3000m from the RRS James Cook (a British Royal Research Ship) in an expedition led by Rogers to the bottom of the world’s deepest oceans.

A seemingly deserted seabed, a colossal underwater mountain range and the vast abyss of deep sea space were revealed in the work. Neudecker meticulously edited this originally silent video footage, (the scientists have no requirement to record the sound) and overlaid it with different sounds such as helicopters, heart beats and clock ticking, together with a classical score by Petēris Vasks called ‘Voices of Silence’ (c1996), a piece that was originally composed for the silence in outer space. Neudecker’s addition of sound to the original silent video footage heightens the sense of exploration and drama as the viewer experiences deep underwater space. 

British Science Festival:
For the British Science Festival the work transformed the interior of St Thomas’ Church in Newcastle into a portal to the undiscovered, impenetrable and mysterious places hidden in the world’s deepest oceans thousands of meters beneath the surface. A hidden flight of stairs to the belfry, a storage cupboard and the balcony pews; areas not normally open to the public; were all occupied by Neudecker’s work to reveal some of the world’s most isolated marine environments.

EuroScience Open Forum:
At the EuroScience Open Forum, ‘For Now We See’ was exhibited in the living quarters on Dana, a Danish vessel used by scientists to investigate the effects of fishing on marine ecology and monitoring ocean conservation. Dana gace visitors the opportunity to learn about the conservation work of the Technical University of Denmark Aqua (DTU). 
Dana was joined by several other research ships from Denmark, Germany and Sweden docking in the Danish capital to give the public a rare opportunity to come on board and find out more about scientific work carried out at sea. Visitors on board Dana were given the chance to experience highlights from the recent expedition to the Sargasso Sea in the Bermuda Triangle and learnt about scientists’ attempts to solve the mystery of the recent decline in the eel population. The public also got the chance to hear about the ship’s role in the identification of fish stocks, which forms the basis of the allocation of fishing quotas.

‘For Now We See’ was developed with HOUSE, Brighton Festival 2013. Mariele Neudecker’s work is supported by NERC, Oxford University and Arts Council England. The exhibition at EuroScience Open Forum was made possible by the support of Ivo Grigorov Marine Biologist, Research Secretariat, DTU Aqua.

Image: © For Now We See, Mariele Neudecker, St Thomas Church Newcastle 2013, installation shot Colin Davison.

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