Out of the Bloom.

The sculpture begins as a mass of microscopic bits which grow into individual algae forms inspired by dinoflagellates. These phytoplankton fly across the space seeming to grow and replicate.  

 

An algal bloom is a rapid increase in the population of algae in an aquatic system.  Some blooms are harmful because some species of algae produce neurotoxins.  One well know example is the Red Tide which is caused by a type of dinoflagellate.  Harmful algal blooms or HABs occur naturally, but when human activities disturb ecosystems algal blooms occur with more frequency and intensity. Increased nutrients and pollution in the water, food chain alterations, introduced species, water flow modifications and climate change all play a role.

 
 

Not all algal blooms are harmful, and some can actually be beneficial. Phytoplankton are the base of the marine food chain therefore all other life in the ocean relies on phytoplankton.  Humans can also appreciate the beauty of a bioluminescent algal bloom.  Glowing blue flickering light visible in ocean water at night often comes from blooms of bioluminescent dinoflagellates, which emit flashes of light when disturbed.

 
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The mass of microscopic bits grows into individual algae forms inspired by dinoflagellates.  By the time we reach the end of the bloom there are different individual types of algae present.  Could these algae cause a harmful bloom or a beautiful bioluminescent event?  As a group the algae has strength to impact the environment in a negative or a positive way.  The algae may not be able to make a choice and control their actions, but as humans we can observe the strength these tiny algae have when blooming in large numbers.  And as humans we can and must choose to emerge from the mass and and create beauty rather than toxins.  

 
 
 
 

All photo credits Richard Romero.