Requiem for the Netmakers presents us with the centuries-old duel of Man vs. Nature being played out by Big Oil Gangsters, the Ocean, and generations of people whose livelihoods have been given by the sea. Requiem germinated with a news story on a family whose business was the art of net-making. Just like many local businesses tied to the fishing industry, the 2010 BP oil spill ruined both net-making and a family’s way of life. Digital still and video imagery reflects several years of work with online archives, intensive political immersion and constant monitoring of the news. Sources include the Associated Press Archive, Library of Congress Archive, National Archives, Environmental Protection Agency Documerica project, photographs made available through Creative Commons licenses, Present Richard Nixon’s 1970 State of the Union address, and the FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT, AS AMENDED BY THE CLEAN WATER ACT OF 1977.
Requiem for the Netmakers was originally commissioned for Too Shallow for Diving: the 21st Century is Treading Water, at the American Jewish Museum. In Too Shallow for Diving, exhibiting artists have a track record of working with scientists, environmental advocates, and citizens’ groups. Their projects fuse aesthetics and ecology as a catalyst for viewers to consider how human intervention impacts the future of water.
For more information on Requiem, you can read the “Requiem for the Netmakers” artist statement and watch this short video. Requiem is a collaboration with sonic artist Frank Ferraro and sculptor Angelo Gatto.