Algae Paper is an ongoing project that uses the green lettuce, an algae from the north Bretagne shore as an esthaetic ressource to develop some experimental paper sheets, printed materials and sculptures in an immersive discourse around art and ecology.
First experimentations with the algae started in 2014. Since then, more projects have occured like the edition of the Algae-Paper booklet in December 2015, La Passe exhibition in November 2016 and the presentation of Topologies, a micro-installation at Missread Art Book Fair 2017 in Berlin.
Few words on the project Algae Paper :
Since decades, intensive farming led to a massive pollution problem on the beaches of Brittany, the western part of France. Nitrates rejection in rivers slowly end up in the sea by the stream, and create a development and proliferation of a green algae: the sea lettuce.
In summer, this algae comes tide after tide to cover most of the coast beaches. More importantly, it rejects a toxic gas, the Mercaptan, a derivative of sulfur of hydrogen, which can be lethal for mankind and animals.
Lots of ecological associations condemn this situation and face the agriculture lobbies to force the government and the authorities to take radical measures. The change of the production scheme for pork breeding is the key. But the economic situation is so sensitive in the region that nobody wants to take the risk to start a conflict with farmers.
Therefore, several alternative exist in addition to trying to change this process in agriculture. The main idea would be to recycle this parasite and transform it into something useful. All around the world, the transformation of different type of algae into raw material for alimentation, cosmetic, and alternative to plastics has become more and more popular throughout the years. From Namibia to Zanzibar and from Japan to Brittany, seaweed agriculture becomes an important economic actor, creates employment and favorise development.
The project Algae Paper started a few years in Locquirec, France led to the transformation of sea lettuce into recycled sheets of paper. So far, results are very interesting, since the combination of algae and real paper allows to keep properties of a normal piece of paper’s elasticity. We can fold it, rip it off and write on it. This new material also possesses aesthetic qualities in terms of colors, transparency, touch and smell that can be exploited in a lot of different domains.
Algae paper is an artistic experimentation that tries to play with the environment and create links between nature and culture. It’s as well a project who explores another solutions to interact with a tensed ecological and economical situation.
Installations and works developped with the Algae Paper project in different exhibitions and festivals:
La Passe, Tête Berlin, nov. 2016
Topologies at Missread, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin July 2017
Stone-Paper & Algae-Paper, exhibited at Ufer Hallen, Berlin July 2017
Algae-Paper framed serie, as part of the Tête Oyster Bar, nov. 2017 Berlin
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