SILVERFIN: MFA Exhibition

FISHING EXPEDITION SCULPTURAL VIDEO INSTALLATION

( PROJECTION, SOUND, FISHING TRAPS, FILLETING TABLES )

“We need a new wild... But the new wild will be very different from the old wild. We have changed our planet too much, and nature never goes backward. “ - author Fred Pearce, The New Wild

SILVERFIN is a sculptural video installation chronicling the artist’s fishing expedition to catch Asian carp in the Illinois River using handmade traps. These traps consist of a ten foot fyke net to catch the fish and three underwater speakers to startle them towards the net. The fyke net is constructed of six fiberglass hoops ranging from twenty inches to three and a half feet. The netting holding the hoops together is hand tied. Laser cut fins and tail give the trap a fish form and act as a floatation aid while in the river. The underwater speakers are housed in 3D printed shells and attached to ropes with buoys on the end. These traps are placed in the gallery, along with video documentation projected onto fish filleting tables. Fish filleting demonstrations are conducted on the tables and the residue, the scales and blood, are left on the tables and floors. The installation meditates on fishing as art practice, as solution, and as resource. The project proposes that Asian carp will continue to colonize local waters, but harnessing them as a resource via fishing can control populations and create more mutually beneficial relationships between human and fish. The project seeks to entice people to learn more about Asian carp in Illinois waterways and eventually imagine a more sustainable future with this non-native fish.

videographer: Ian Kerstetter

videographer: charlesRlong

This project was partially funded by the Albert P. Weisman Award.

photo credit 1-6: Dakota Lecos