The society will operate as a mobile learning lab connecting artists with experts such as marine biologists and kelp farmers with the aim of extending awareness and exploring options to assist in regenerating marine habitats. It will involve excursions, designing a logo, kelp snacking, hive mind planning, more excursions, underwater photography, seaweed drinks, seaweed fashions, finding a clubhouse, planning a cooperative floating kelp farm that can also host artists as well as straight up schooling.
The inaugural meeting was held at 6.30 on Monday May 6, 2019 at Florence Peel Hall in Fitzroy and was being cohosted by Lichen Kelp and Liquid Architecture as part of their Why Listen to Animals program.
Since then we have had groupings at Siteworks, Brunswick, presented at the Jaffle Symposium, Testing Grounds and held a seaweed forage in Point Cook Coastal Park. Lichen Kelp also presented a talk on the Kelp Highway for Matters Journal at Abootsford Convent and co-presented a 7 part seaweed feast at Lake Tyers Tavern, East Gippsland with Mat Bate, as part of a Forum of Sensory Motion residency with FLOAT.
Forum of Sensory Motion will continue to host travelling iterations of the program.
In September 2019 Danni Zuvela and Lichen Kelp will travel SASi to Norway for the Kelp Congress as part of LIAF Biennale.
So if you would like to come or you would like to host a meet up, in Melbourne or beyond, or have any ideas, links or people SASi should meet who may like to assist please let us know. Also please be aware that you don't have to be an artist or an algae expert to join, being Marine bio-curious is qualification enough!
1843 cyanotype algae image by legendary botanist, algae enthusiast and possibly first female photographer Anna Atkins.
more SASi information here; Seaweed Appreciation Society international (SASi)
and regular updates on Instagram @seaweed_appreciation_society
and facebook SASI/Seaweed Appreciation Society
In August Lichen Kelp presented the second edition of Drawing Matters, a Matters Journal talk series held at Cams Abbotsford Convent.
Below are some resources from the evening for those who'd like to learn more about seaweed and those who'd like to get involved with our aquatic kin.
Image: Japanese photographer Yoshiyuki Iwase dedicated most of his life to documenting the incredible ama uminchu, Japanese divers who were mostly women. The photo here shows the ada uminchu collecting seaweed (circa 1950's).
“Return to the ocean as often as possible.”
— LICHEN KELP
The Kelp Highway
This is an excerpt from An Ocean Garden: The Secret Life of Seaweed by Josie Iselin (2014).
Seaweed has been supporting humans since the very beginning. In 1975 the archaeological remains of a twelve-thousand-year-old human settlement at Monte Verde in southern Chile were discovered. Among the artefacts preserved in the peat bogs were the clear remains of nine species of marine algae from distant beaches and estuaries. These seaweed relics, confirmed to have been used as food and medicine by the ancient people, have stirred intense debate as to how the earliest Americans came to inhabit the continents.
It was accepted for years that the earliest humans arrived via the Bering Strait land bridge and then slowly populated the southern Americas as hunter-gatherers. The Monte Verde site, however, predates the glacier melt throughout Canada, when overland routes would have been impassable. It is now postulated that the kelp beds on the west coasts of North and South America created a nutrition highway along which the first humans travelled, either by boat or along the shore, eating the abundant shellfish and seaweed there.
image; Lichen and Sarita discussing the Chilean stop on the Kelp Highway for Drawing Matters, Abbotsford Convent.
photo by Sharni Hodge.
Is Seaweed the Next Superfood? THE NEW YORKER
Melbourne based Seaweedc forages; Chris Rockley
Can seaweed save the world? TIM FLANNERY ON CATALYST
thanks to Mat Bate for putting together these resources and a fantastic evening of drawing kelp, eating seaweed and discussing marine algaes!