Water comprises 71 percent of our planet; 97 percent of this water is oceanic. Each year, the oceans, which are home to an estimated 1.6 different species of marine life, are inundated with 14 million tons of plastic. This plastic contributes to global warming, pollution, and marine life endangerment. Activist, artist, and Georgia State Regents’ Professor Pam Longobardi has dedicated her research and practice to eliminating this deadly waste. For almost two decades, she has trekked sandy shores and embarked on journeys across the sea to collect plastic waste and recruit others for the effort. Ocean Gleaning documents these years of environmental work, art, and collaboration around the globe.
Released by Fall Line Press, “Ocean Gleaning proposes a collaboration between art, science, activism and like-minded groups that begins with the assumption that the ocean is a conscious entity that, in many different ways, from rising levels and temperatures to declining fish stocks to coral bleaching and finally to the deformed material plastic objects that float the world round, is attempting to communicate its declining state of being.” The beautifully-bound, hardcover book includes essays by curators and scientists and features documentation photography by photo faculty Jill Frank. Longobardi’s favorite section of the publication is a log of discarded items people have found while cleaning beaches with her and how they reflected on their objects. Many students and faculty who have worked under Longobardi’s direction are included and that mentorship has been fulfilling to her.
Ocean Gleaning was published in conjunction with a solo exhibition of Longobardi’s work at the Baker Museum in Naples, Florida, which incorporates plastic particles of all sizes into mounted pieces, sculptures, and full-room installations as colorful as the ecosystems they destroy. This exhibition and book is a continuation and culmination of her work with the Drifter’s Project which “provides a visual statement about the engine of global consumption and the vast amounts of plastic objects impacting the world’s most remote places and its creatures.”
About Pam Logobardi
Pam Longobardi’s parents, an ocean lifeguard and the Delaware state diving champion, connected her from an early age to the water. She moved to Atlanta in 1970 and saw her neighborhood pond drained to build the high school she attended. Since then, she lived for varying time periods in Wyoming, Montana, California, and Tennessee, and worked as a firefighter and tree planter, a scientific illustrator and an aerial mapmaker, a collaborative printer and a color mixer. Her artwork involves painting, photography and installation to address the psychological relationship of humans to the natural world. She has exhibited across the US and in Greece, Monaco, Germany, Finland, Slovakia, China, Japan, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Costa Rica and Poland. She currently lives and works in Atlanta as Regents’ Professor and Distinguished Professor of Art at Georgia State University and drifts with the ongoing Drifters Project, following the world ocean currents.
More information about The Drifters Project can be found at driftersproject.net and Ocean Gleaning is available for purchase at falllinepress.com