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Site-specific installation

Custom made tide gauge, sediment, clay, stoneware, display case

Commissioned by Volt, initiated and organised by Marie Nerland. Developed in dialogue with the Department of GEOscience and EARTHLAB at the University of Bergen and Cowi AS. Thanks to Elisa Helland-Hansen.

'Mareograph' is a two-part project based on the Bergen City Council’s risk assessment of the severely polluted marine environments in Puddefjorden and Store Lungegårdsvann in Bergen. This risk assessment has shown that the sea bed has a very high content of heavy metals and organic pollutants which now form the basis for the Council’s extensive clean-up work of the sea bed in the fjord.

In the project, sediment was sampled from various parts of the sea bed in Puddefjorden and Store Lungegårdsvann and applied as a Terra sigillata coat to clay-formed cylinders. These were placed one by one in a selfmade analogue tide gauge, which stood on the Årstad quay in Bergen.

The tidal water was registered in the gauge by the movements of a needle in the rotating sediment cylinders, which were replaced when the water was at its lowest. The six cylinders with sediments were subsequently dried and ceramically fired. The colour spectra in the incised cylinders come from various types of heavy metals, minerals and organic pollutant deposited in the sediments and the ways in which they have reacted to the high temperatures of the ceramic reduction firing.

The first part of the project showed the mareograph station placed on the Årstad quay at the conduit between the inner Puddefjord and the lake Store Lungegårdsvannet between 11 and 13 January. The second part of the project formed a thematically related seminar and a presentation of the ceramic measurement cylinders showed in a display case in the Local History section of the Bergen Public Library.

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