Brandon Ballengée, The Ever Changing Tide, 2000-2001
The Ever Changing Tide
New York, New York
A collaborative project with Todd Gardiner of The Marine Biology Department of Hofstra University , Mercedes Lee of the National Audubon Society’s Living Ocean Program and Peter Warny of The New York State Museum. 2000-2002. Photographed at the Queens Museum of Art in August 2001. Mixed media installation; including over 400 preserved specimens (representative of over 260 species) and 76 iris prints.
The project involves the collection, identification, and documentation of numerous species of aquatic organisms available for consumption at various Flushing seafood markets. In December of 2000, I began to search the area for various species with the intention of collecting each kind available. Each week the specimens are documented and preserved. In 1992, artist Mark Dion in his work "The Report of the Department of Marine Animal Inventory of the City of New York China Town Division" surveyed the China Town markets photographing and identifying various species of fish. Almost a decade later, many of the species Dion collected have suffered from population declines and some have even become commercially extinct. Greenpeace estimates that many decades of overfishing have put numerous species in severe decline. Following the exhibition at the Queens Museum of Art, the specimens will permanently enter the Ichthyology collections of the American Museum of Natural History, The New York State Museum, and The Peabody Museum at Yale University.