The idea behind Zooplankton is that science and art are a lot more connected to one another than we often think. Project Lead, Becca Priddy, is a science and theatre teacher in Portland, Oregon.
As an educator who teaches in both realms of art and science I am often confronted with the curiosities of the middle ground that these subjects cover. It is here where we as scientific artists lie. It is in this same place that I often find myself in conversations, my brain being picked as some sort of oddity. How can one person be both scientifically and artistically inclined?
I want to build and bring Zooplankton to life at Burning Man, as my own radical self expression. Zooplankton will bring our community together, it will be a place of art to learn about science, to express ourselves, and to see what others have discovered before us. It brings together art and science, as well as the past and the present. The Zooplankton team in Portland is already hard at work planning this project for all of us out there with a curious mind.
Zooplankton will be a 20 foot tall shady space for everyone to relax and enjoy. During the day Zooplankton will be a classroom where guests from the community will hold classes and workshops on science, and other topics. By night the 150 acrylic spikes attached to the shell of Zooplankton will illuminate in a dazzling bioluminescent spectacle! Our programmer, Tony, has been hard at work developing a way to connect these spikes to a thermal camera that will be placed inside Zooplankton, sensing body heat. The more people who join the fun inside, the more bizarre, interesting, and exciting the light show outside. Zooplankton will be a place to dance, meet new friends, and watch lights dance around a 100,000:1 scale replica of an ancient ocean organism.