Deep Observation Lab
As an artist in residence at the Lacawac Sanctuary and Biological Field Station in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, I was inspired by conversations with the scientists who researched there. Lacawac, being an isolated and therefore pristine glacial lake, allowed them to study the effects of climate change on some of its smallest inhabitants, the zooplankton, who keep lake ecosystems healthy. As we reflected on the observational similarities between art and science, it was noted that drawing, once very common among scientists for collecting research and recording details, was becoming obsolete due to more accessible personal-camera technology. After converting an outbuilding of the site's historic Watres Lodge into a frenetic yet nurturing combination of science lab and art studio, guests could observe plankton from Lakewater samples I collected each day and were invited to draw what they found. The gallery component, made of old research equipment, traps, netting, ropes, and bouys, expanded with artwork as we delved deeper into these tiny underwater worlds.