Its been a few since writing here. Last post, I was really excited that we were completely out of space on Necker for our Ocean Summit. This project came about after I had met Susi Mai. We instantly talked about the various groups around the world claiming to do something for the oceans but often it was just a blue washing money grabbing scheme.
Susi and I both believed that something should be done for the oceans and not for ourselves. What would that look like? Who would we invite? I could tell you but then you could just see it for yourself!
My transition from Artist to Actionist was more logical than what you might imagine! In 2013 the beginnings of my LUCiD project had begun with a few simple conversations down in Chile. Creating Art about the oceans seemed hollow without some sort of actionable results. I mean why tell the public about the atrocities facing the ocean if you’re not going to do something about it. In early 2017 after the success of LUCiD, my team and I founded OCEAN which is a blockchain platform to measure life below water. Our core mission is to facilitate measurement of protected areas in order to protect 30% of the Worlds Oceans by 2030. If we can measure something, we can improve it. For years, I wanted to attend an Ocean related event on Necker Island. I didn’t think that I would end up co-hosting an Ocean event we now call The Ocean Summit! We are all meeting at Sir Richard Branson’s home in just a few weeks. Ocean advocates from around the world have come together in hopes on creating a Public – Private manifesto for Ocean Action. We are maxed out and there is no space left which is why I will be soon provide links to our Live Broadcast. If you’re interested in participating via LIVE stream, stay tuned here in the next week and I will post up the links! hashtag#arthashtag#oceanhashtag#blockchainhashtag#conservation
Ocean Summit planning has been going quite well. (This has been the majority of my time lately) I will be visiting the island next week. Organizing an event like this means ensuring every detail is attended to. So I will be documenting every aspect of what it takes to get to the island so each attendee knows exactly what to expect.
I had a call with Dr. Sylvia Earle where she asked me: “Jeremy, Why are you doing an Ocean Summit? Why aren’t you working with other summits? and what makes this any different than other summits that currently exist?”
I have to say I love Sylvia! There is nothing better than straight forward questions and getting right to the point. I first explained that I wanted for a long time to do an ocean summit where we could include innovators that wanted to create business concepts with the protection of the ocean in mind. We have folks that are working on Environmental DNA projects that hope to sequence valuable data at sea as opposed in the lab. Projects where mushrooms are eating plastic and leaving micro-organisms intact. We even have a company manufacturing autonomous boats to combat illegal fishing.
In regards to working with others, That is one of the things that I wanted to do right off the bat. So I thought of 4 main areas. Policy, Innovation, Investment and Storytelling. These are 4 main areas that Science and Academia will sprinkle all throughout. So working with others is a must. There are too many people working on Ocean related issues but their ego is prohibiting them from collaborating with others in a useful manner. There are other summits and we want to encourage all of them to focus on action. Our summit is about action and capacity building.
In 2016 IUCN met in Honolulu where they mandated to protect 30% of the Worlds Oceans by 2030. Our thought was, what if we get the right people together on the island that could define the capacity to execute this mandate? Beyond the event, we have some tech that will continue to nudge guests and ensure they get the resources they need to accomplish the goals defined at the summit. Our hope is that when we meet in 2020 we will be able to tell the world what we accomplished. All of us are tired of having meetings to just have more meetings. The days of convening for the sake of convening are over and that’s what makes us difference. We are holding people to their commitments and filling in gaps where possible.
If you have an idea and want to be with us on island, I urge you to submit to our questionnaire and have your comments reviewed by our team. In the meantime, I’m off to Necker Island with my co-hosts to meet up with Sir Richard Branson to ensure this goes off exactly like planned!
The Ocean provides every second breath we take. She has always been there for us and now we need to be there for her.
If you would like to apply to The Ocean Summit follow this link:
I picked up the new DJI Mavic Pro 2. It’s the perfect drone for someone who likes to travel light. Its a beautiful piece of machine that takes exceptional pictures. The image was taken right at sunset just a few days ago. I think it will come in handy for identifying whales! It boasts a 1 Inch Hasselblad Sensor! I’m very impressed with its abilities.
I didn’t start a post here to just discuss new toys. I wanted to give an update on where things are and what has transpired since my last post. I had a chance to meet the Dardanella Vessel in Fiji. It was a real treat to experience the ocean that way. It also provided the ability to arrive to very remote places that few will ever see.
Upon arriving to a very remote island in Fiji’s Lau Group, I was met with very sweet souls. For a moment, it seemed like the kids were not sure of me. Who was this red headed guy with big red glasses?! Then they all shouted BULA! Such sweet sweet people. I could have spend months there.
Last year with a few great people I formed the Ocean Coin. Or known by its corporate name Ocean Currency Network and OCEAN(tm) for short. The idea was to create a platform where other developers could assemble various data sources that might help our Oceans survive. I came up with the idea that we should attach a value to the life in The Oceans. If we could do that, the ones who didn’t believe would still play along with us as if they did. In January 2018 we wrote the code in Davos Switzerland at the World Economic Forum. One of our team members who will go unnamed snores worse than I do so its amazing anything at all was done.
We built a blockchain solution to share data about the oceans between self-executing contracts known as Smart Contracts. Why? Well the mission was to support the UN SDG14 Life Below Water. At least use it as a framework for our design. How could we avoid a major catastrophe? What if we could leave areas of The Ocean alone for a period of time? The problem I saw was that there was not a real measurement taking place by various managers of protected areas. Hmmm, how can you improve something you haven’t even begun to measure?
What if we could use a mixture of technology to acquire information on what is happening in protected areas? What would we learn about our shared environment? The Ancient Polynesians would issue a Tapu or a forbidden zone around their waters and would begin to count fish over a period of time to better understand when something should be fished. Maybe we can do one step better, lets show how this life is financially more valuable alive than dead.
I made my way to New York during the UN General Assembly since everyone was in town. I had an opportunity to discuss in length with Former President Anote Tong this idea. It was great to understand his insight on a very complicated issue. He mentioned that his people are stuck, they have to do something about rising sea levels or they will lose their home. How will they move and how can they pay for such a thing. Maybe what we have created could be something they could take and develop on their own. Maybe other nations as well. Only time will tell.
At the present moment, I’m extremely busy planning the Ocean Summit. This has turned into a joint effort by Myself, Susi Mai and Debbie Kinder. We will be convening some of the worlds brightest minds to Necker Island this February 2019. This is the home of Sir Richard Branson and we are all very excited to have such a lovely place to plan the future of our oceans.
If you know someone who you think is a catalyst for global change. Please send them to www.oceansummit.org and we will connect with them.
That is it for now, more to come soon! (sooner than before)
There is something very magical about the South Pacific to me. I’m not sure what it is but as an Artist I’m drawn to what has been here for thousands of years. Take as an example, voyaging. The history of how these people have navigated through these waters like we do highways on land is nothing short of remarkable. I’m headed to Fiji to meet up the the Vessel called the Dardanella. What will we be doing? Well you will have to come back to find out! See you in a few days and I’ll let you know what I’m up to!
It’s the time of year where texans often try their best to get in their refrigerated spaces as much as possible. Let’s face it, who wants to spend their summer melting away into the streets.
Last year, I opened up a few of my sessions to the public in hopes to raise a little bit of money for my project. This worked so well I’m doing it again.
You might have noticed a floating blue button prompting you to book a session! Well, I invite you to book while you still have time. This year I will be traveling all over the world to document marine protected areas. The plan is to film and raise awareness. I will also be working on an entirely new series with Fashion Designer, Abi Ferrin. There are few spaces available and I urge you to grab a spot or two! The session fee is the only thing I will charge and you keep all images that I take. Its that simple.
Keep in mind that the images shown here are not the models I work with. They were amazing people who have a passion for the water and wanted to film beneath the surface. This type of photography is not easy and most certainly not for everyone, If you’re up for a challenge then I suggest you give it a go. It is a whole lot of fun and its a great help to our LUCiD Project.
Over the past few years, I have been working through a system where I can continue to create work and deliver to collectors around the world regardless of my physical location. I’ve been really happy with Saatchi Art. They really have been a great tool to get my work out there. I am only selling my prints at the moment and some of them I take off the market for various reasons. There are some prints that I use various mediums and they can be very complex. Some of the more complex, I decide to release when I know I’m going to be in town to babysit the process a little more. In some cases, I’ll release works when I’m at sea and they are only for sale during that time. It is kind of like a live broadcast. It is available once and if you can catch it at the right time, you can take it but not a moment too soon or too late. It may seem ridiculous but I think we over commercialize art. When we are used to seeing beautiful images on pixels and not ink, I think something is often lost. So a way to bring attention to this lack of attention is to make scarce something that really shouldn’t be. In the end, I’m happy to create and sure I’m happy for you to collect. If you only saw it once online then for me, thats good enough!
This piece which is one of the classics just went out to a new owner. It’s #1 of a series. #2 will not be available for sale until after the summer when a new line of work will shift. Some pieces for sale now will go away and others will come in.
When I was younger, I remember thinking about how long a semester in school was. Seemed like it was forever and now I seem to dash through time as if I pressed the lightspeed button on the millenium falcon (starwars reference just in case you don’t know). In any case, I had started this website really as an exercise to write and also a way to share thoughts and ideas.
Often people will look at the art work that I produce and perhaps see the places that I go and form generalized opnions. Even family members have chimed in from time to time. Usually starts with something like this…
MOM: Hey bud, where are you in the world today?
ME: Tonga.. Just got here.
MOM: Oh wow, where is that again? I’m looking at a map.
ME: Just east of Fiji. Its a small island kingdom made up of about 170 or so islands.
MOM: Can I fit in your suitcase next time?
ME: I’m sure that’s worse than flying coach.
It’s pretty often I get comments like this but I think the seemingly exotic locations somehow mask the way the conversation goes. I mean what if we changed the location? This is how I’d imagine the conversation going….
MOM: hey bud, where are you in the world today?
ME: Paris… Paris, Texas
MOM: Hmm where is that again? I’m looking at a map.
ME: Just east of Dallas, Its a small town made up of republicans and a fair bit of trees.
MOM: Well, have fun with that! Call me later.
Most of the time I’m not traveling and its actually a lot of work leading up to various expeditions that we have planned. Especially in the case of this year. I had another plan to make it out to Tonga but the window of possibility is closing on that one and for a very good reason. Last year I started up a blockchain company that serves as a tool to keep track of what happens in a Marine Protected Area. I mean, it seems logical if you are going to protect an area of the ocean that you should use some tools to count fish. This is done to some extent but not really as a whole much because the resources required to do this are unfathomable for some countries and even some budgets. Yet, even still there are bids to extend the marine areas and sometimes they get voted down. I don’t blame the public actually. You’re just telling me I can’t fish and you’re not telling me the health of the protected area that you have defined years ago. Well, I wanted to change all that along with a couple other like minded folks. I also want to know where plastic is collecting. If we can measure something we can improve it. I had noticed there seemed to be a lot of “improving”-ish ideas being funded and by really big companies. Yet the measurement of such a project was weak and perhaps a hypothesis at best. So the Ocean Currency Network was founded OCN by short. So back to Tonga, it will be there when I settle down but for now we have a couple Nation States in the Pacific that want to work with us in hopes we can protect their waters and find new ways to generate income using their most valuable resource. The Ocean.
If we are successful, we will have a business reason to extend Marine Protected Areas. Our overall mission is to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. So enough writing, I suppose I should get back to planning. There is quite a bit on the task list til 2030.
As an artist, I believe that awareness and knowledge is dead. I mean that we know what we know already and we still fail to act. I don’t think that beating people down is the answer either. Regardless of race, religion or location we all share one thing. Air. This air is being threatened. Not only do I want to create installations for people to experience for free, I want to connect to various technological solutions and find ways to empower them to push the needle in the opposite direction. Awareness is cute, Action is sexy.
I’m starting to sell prints again! My funds go back into my public installations and they create mini mind vacations for those who have fallen for the ocean as I have. I invite you to support me and this project.