Final Studio Project Proposal IS2

Thesis Question:

How does consumerism impact ocean ecosystems?


  • What are the most common objects that are littered on beaches? What are the most dangerous pollutants to sea life?
  • How have people’s perspective of beaches changed over time?
  • How can packaging be changed so that it cannot be mistaken as small fish?


Goudie, Andrew. The Human Impact on the Natural Environment. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1986.

“Oil pollution is an increasingly serious problem for marine and coastal faun, although some of it derives from natural seeps. Sea-birds are especially vulnerable since oil clogs their feathers, while the ingestion of oil when birds attempt to preen themselves leads to enteritis and other complaints” (Goudie 1986, 80).

“Sewage is the second worst form of stress to which coral reefs are exposed, for oxygen consuming substances in sewage result in reduced levels of oxygen in the water of lagoons. The detrimental effects of oxygen starvation are compounded by the fact that sewage may cause nutrient enrichment to stimulate algal growth, which in turn can overwhelm coral” (Goudie 1986, 80).

“Water pollution is frequently desirable: it causes disease transmission through infection; it may poison humans and animals; it may create objectionable odours and unsightliness; it may be the cause of the unsatisfactory quality even of treated water; and it may affect economic activities like shellfish culture” (Goudie 1986, 173).

Visual culture:



Art Inspiration:


Medium & Material:

Multimedia installation


  • plastic
  • hanging from string? thread?


  • common trash (chip bags, fast food containers, etc)
  • what other pollutants?


  • canvas with acrylic paint (oil spill colors)


  • laser cutter to make the stencil
  • what material for the stencil?



I brought in different “tests” to get feedback on what worked and what didn’t. In the left image, there are two paintings that represent different iterations of the background I was considering. I’ve decided to do the painting like the second painting except removing the opaque peach color. On top of the paintings, is a painting of a fish on trash, which I was considering making a lot of to attach onto the canvas, however I realized that it wasn’t working. In the right image, I experimented with the typography. I’ve decided to use the middle “Barbie” text in white/light grey. I had no time to create a prototype of the plastic bird, however, when Bryan told me his idea of a giant plastic fish, I thought of the giant whale in the American Natural History Museum, so now I want to make a plastic whale instead. I might make tiny little fish out of trash and glue them onto the canvas and, if possible, coming out of the whale’s mouth.

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