Mar Menor: un paisaje en crisis/a crisis landscape

(English below)

The Mar Menor is a saltwater lagoon located in the region of Murcia in Spain in contact with the waters of the Mediterranean, being the largest lagoon in Europe with conditions that have allowed the development of a unique delicate ecosystem. The lagoon is home to a wide variety of endemic species. During the last decades the Mar Menor and its surroundings have changed dramatically due to the human activity of the area such as massive tourism, agriculture, mining and fisheries. Those have not stopped increasing and affecting the ecosystem of the lagoon in the last decades.

De esta forma las aguas y los terrenos aledaños del Mar Menor han sido victimas de polución y sobre explotación, derivando a un desastre natural.  En 2016 se hizo visible su agonia con un fenómeno en su aguas que locales llamaron «la sopa verde»: debido al aumento de nutrientes derivados por residuos de la agricultura que se vierten a diario al mar menor favoreció el crecimiento excesivo de fitoplancton (microalgas). Esto derivó a una muerte masiva de peces y animales que viven en sus aguas y a una crisis del ecosistema ha empeorado desde entonces.

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The Mar Menor in a saltwater lagoon located in the region of Murcia in Spain in contact with the waters of the Mediterranean, being the largest lagoon in Europe with conditions that have allowed the development of a unique delicate ecosystem. The lagoon is home to a wide variety of endemic species. During the last decades the Mar Menor and its surroundings have changed dramatically due to the human activity of the area such as massive tourism, agriculture, mining and fisheries. Those have not stopped increasing and affecting the ecosystem of the lagoon in the last decades.

Unfortunately Mar Menor’s waters and the surrounding lands have been victims of pollution and exploitation, resulting in a natural disaster. In 2016, its agony became visible with a phenomenon in its waters that the locals called «the green soup»: due to the increase in nutrients derived from agricultural residues that are poured daily to the lesser sea it favored the excessive growth of phytoplankton (microalgae) . This led to a massive death of fish and animals that live in its waters, and an ecosystem crisis that has worsened since then.


 

Mar Menor Lab. Arte y Ciencia para un paisaje en crisis/Art and science for a crisis landscape. 2019

 

From September 3rd to 8th of 2019, the second Mar Menor Lab summer course had taken place: Art and science for a landscape in crisis. Coordinated by Clara Boj and her team, a series of workshops, conferences and meetings were held with the direct participation of artists and scientists to contemplate and intervene in the Mar Menor and its problems. We participate in this version with the creation laboratory  «Microuniversos Mar Menor», donde se ensamblaron microscopios de cartón con los participantes del curso, con la idea de explorar la diversidad microscópica del Mar Menor, estudiando formas de vida, relaciones biológicas, materiales, formas, colores y obteniendo una complilación de imáges del microuniverso de forma colectiva. Se tomaron muestras en recorridos alrededor del lago, del agua, el suelo, de algunos animales, rocas, la vegetación.

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From September 3rd to 8th of 2019, the second Mar Menor Lab summer course had taken place: Art and science for a landscape in crisis. Coordinated by Clara Boj and her team, a series of workshops, conferences and meetings were held with the direct participation of artists and scientists to contemplate and intervene in the Mar Menor and its problems. We participate in this version with the creation laboratory «Microuniversos Mar Menor». Cardboard microscopes were assembled with the participants of the course, with the idea of exploring the microscopic diversity of the Mar Menor, studying life forms, biological relationships, materials, forms , colours and obtaining a compilation of images of the microuniverse collectively. Samples of water, soil, some animals, rocks, vegetation were taken on routes around the lake.

http://www.marmenorlab.org/portfolio/mar-menor-lab-2019/


 

Mar menor: a crisis landscape. Biosummit 3. MIT Media Lab. 2019

 

As part of the global community biosummit 3, meeting of initiatives in biotechnology which took place from October 10th to 14th at the facilities of the MIT Media Lab (Cambridge, USA), a video installation with two simultaneous screens was carried out where the results of the laboratory «MICROmacro Mar Menor». In the monitor on the left, a processing code ran mixing microscopic photographs taken collectively from Mar Menor’s area. The monitor on the right showed twos video alternatively: a piece of video art made from trips around Mar Menor and a video memorial . In front of the monitors the visitors of the exhibition could use with their mobiles the DIY microscope that was used to take the microscopic images.

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As part of the global community biosummit 3,  meeting of initiatives in biotechnology which took place from October 10th to 14th at the facilities of the MIT Media Lab (Cambridge, USA), a video installation with two simultaneous screens was carried out where the results of the laboratory «Microuniversos Mar Menor». In the monitor on the left a simple processing program ran mixing microscopic photographs taken collectively from Mar Menor’s area. The monitor on the right showed twos video alternatively:a piece of video art made from trips around Mar Menor «Mar Menor: a crisis landscape» and a video memorial of the laboratory of creation «Microuniverses Mar Menor «.  In front of the monitors the visitors of the exhibition could use with their mobiles the DIY microscope that was used to take the microscopic images.