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Gyre: The Plastic Ocean, explores the complex relationship between humans and the ocean in a throwaway culture, where plastic packaging finds its way into our ocean biosphere and then into the hands of artists. Our oceans are dynamic systems, made up of complex networks of currents that circulate water around the world. Large systems of these currents, coupled with wind and the earth’s rotation, create gyres – massive, slow rotating whirlpools in which marine debris accumulates. Any kind of trash can get into the ocean – from glass bottles to aluminum cans to foam carryout containers. The vast majority of marine debris, however, is plastic. The North Pacific Gyre, the most heavily researched for plastic pollution, spans an area roughly twice the size of the United States. Designed to last, world-travelled plastic breaks down into tiny pieces called microplastics, which can be mistaken for food by even the smallest sea creatures, as well as large animals like seabirds and fish, causing severe 
health problems. 

Investigating issues of the contemporary culture of consumption and its consequences on nature, Gyre: The Plastic Ocean tackles the big picture by bringing together visual arts and science. The exhibition tells a global marine debris story through the work of 25 international artists.


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