Beyond Midnight (2023) 

A Multimedia Immersive Collaboration with Michel Droge, Carolina Valencia Gonzalez, Tristan Koepke, and Asha Tamirisa.
Video source material provided by the Schmidt Ocean Institute
Text excerpts from Undrowned: Black Feminst Lessons from Marine Mammals by Alexis Pauline Gumbs

photo credits: Phyllis Graber Jensen

In June of 2023, Michel Droge was invited to join Co-chief Scientists Dr. Beth Orcutt of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences located in Boothbay Maine, (USA) and Dr. Jorge Cortés of the Universidad de Costa Rica, and an international team of scientists and artists on a month-long expedition off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica to explore the Earth’s first-ever-discovered octopus nursery. During this excursion, they also found the fifth-known octopus nursery in the world on a seamount 30 nautical miles away. The team’s ultimate goal is to better understand the hydrogeology, microbiology, ecology, and geochemistry that may facilitate octopus nurseries while characterizing life-supporting services provided by the ecosystems on these seamounts.

As an immersive multimedia exhibition, Beyond Midnight  shares the experience of the deep sea, a place that is rarely seen by humans. In light of current demand for metals and minerals found abundantly in the deep sea and the impending risks of exploitation by mining, the piece sheds light on these places to raise awareness of the urgent need  for protection and conservation of these vital ocean ecosystems.

Thank you  to The Bates Arts Collaborative, IMPACT21st, Schmidt Ocean Institute, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and The Bates Faculty Development Fund.