|Oceanomania, Mark Dion, Sarina Basta, et al, MACK Books, UK, 2011
Plastic Ocean, Capt. Charles Moore, Avery/Penguin, 2011
Art Papers, Annie Hollingsworth, May/June 2011
"An underlying theme surfaces: these artists are interconnected by a deep concern for the natural world, and the works included in Voyage on Uncanny Seas stand as markers for larger activist practices. While few of the artists' stories are available to a casual viewer, the exhibition does provoke questions... As one moment of curiosity inevitably leads to another, the greatest gift of this exhibition is an awareness of the questions we may not have thought to ask, and the disasters we cannot see."
ARTspeak on Burnaway:
Radio Interview on Cosmos 96.5, Kefalonia, Greece
Coastal Living 2010 'Coastal Hero' (pdf)
Atlanta Magazine (pdf)
Profile on PROLIFIC Magazine
Coastal Watch, Australia -
Plastic is Forever:
"Generation Gap in New Jersey," Libby Rosoff, The Artblog,
"...The generations that grew up with grinning family snaps at the Grand Canyon, Sesame Street, Super Mario Brothers, MYST, graffiti and Scarface have incorporated all those experiences into what they are making. Their current world includes YouTube and multiple photos transformed through Photoshop, storedfor nowon line only to vaporize some day, constant computer input, and if youre looking for whats real in the lives of urban artists crowding into cities to work together and live together, its sidewalksgray, graffitied, littered with trash and signage. Its 9/11 seared into the television screen so frequently that the after-image remains there, a permanent scar casting a cloud over our viewing pleasure.
Thats what kids have seen the most of. So paintings of nature seem quaint and kitsch. Instead, we get paintings of paintings of nature and paintings of illustrations of nature with crystals and Rainbow Brite! Nature is where we go camping for a different experience; it is not where we live. And I assumed from her dreamy, eco floating worlds that Pam Longobardi was younger than she was. The students at the symposium were deeply interested in what she had to say...Pam Longobardi's paintings are a response to environmental disaster."
Ocean debris as subject and material
Artist Pam Longobardi's continuing project titled "Drifters" -- also the title of her exhibition at Wake Forest University's Hanes Gallery through Oct. 12 -- takes a critical look at the extent to which we've fouled the ocean with discarded plastic products and other industrially manufactured debris. In the show she highlights the latter problem with two related series of large-format color photographs and three sculptural pieces geographically focused on the South Point of Hawaii. Ocean currents regularly carry debris from along the Pacific coasts of Asia and the Americas to this locale and temporarily deposit it onshore.
Five of Longobardi's photographs document evidence of this process and its impact on the area's coastal landscape. They show beaches and volcanic rock outcrops densely littered with tangled nylon fishing nets and chaotic arrays of plastic containers, toy parts, flip-flops and other less-easily-identifiable objects and materials. In each of six other photographs Longobardi has isolated individual plastic objects found on this region's beaches, setting them off against white backgrounds and enlarging them as if they were rare archeological artifacts. Three are detached body parts from plastic dolls, the other three aren't readily identifiable, and all six have been battered and discolored by the ocean.
Longobardi's two circular wall reliefs and a central, web-like installation have been painstakingly assembled from plastic objects and other man-made beach debris. The show's most pointed message is the word "DEAD" constructed from distressed pocket combs and other small, black plastic objects across the center of one of the circular wall reliefs. It's an effective word of warning as to what will happen if we continue to pollute the oceans on a scale such as we've done in recent decades.
-Tom Patterson, Winston-Salem Journal, Oct 17, 2008
January 12, 2007ATLANTA Pam Longobardis recent installation Drifters at Sandler Hudson Gallery presents a fecund collage of photographed and collected marine debris found on the washed up shores of the South Point of Hawaii, the southernmost tip of the United States. The debris is largely of 2 types, plastics of every color, often deformed by the forces of sun, wind, and waves; and net balls, enormous aggregations of discarded fishing nets.
In Carpet, found marine debris form a six foot circle-- at once a horrific gesture of just how polluted the seas have become (this is one of the most isolated beaches in the world). As found objects they scream of decay and disposal and careless, flawed beauty. Decapitated plastic containers imbued with happy, aged pastel colors intermingle with organic stuff, nets and rope to create a testament to lost utility and displaced moral judgment. The work affirms what scientists have recently concluded: even one million years from now, assuming that mankind has disappeared, the oceans plastic trash will remain our only manufactured imprint (1).
Longobardis Drifters creates an architectural landscape envisaging the continuum of the built and the natural, the endless pulse of sea and salt ultimately subsumed by the endless assault of trash and vanity.
We encounter sculptures remanufactured and deformed by natural chemistry. The end product, not ending but merely waiting to be tossed about again by the next hurricane or typhoon into the infinitum of space and time where each new storm adds to the deformation---creating something preferred to the original product. Each object more likable and desired than the one before. Longobardis placement in the gallery has only temporarily stopped their devolution.
Drifters successfully documents the original scene with large 34 x 50 Fuji crystal archive prints. In Throne, netting used to catch thousands of multifarious underwater creatures lies temporarily entrapped by the domains of large sea boulders. The stone grinds at the net and the net grinds at the stone. Each image feels monkish like simple, somber orthodox monuments paying tribute to the failures of civilization. Here we are looking at a trapped net that trapped the fish that created trapped shit in the toilet.
It is this last realization where Drifters triumphs: we are confounded by an expanded field slithering from shoreline to gallery, from abandoned plastic gizmo to weaved trash-carpet, from sea storms to twisted nets, to landscape and architecture, to end up with a sense of contemporary universal quality. This is what we have become.
-David DAgostino, Flash Art Correspondent, February 2007
Pam Longobardi's Drifters strikes like the return of the repressed. All those forgotten and misshapen items tossed into the Pacific Ocean come back again to tell a tale. What, one wonders, do they whisper to us? Once useful products, they become castaways in a throw-away culture. By surfing along a strong Pacific Ocean current, the discarded everyday items make their way by the ton to the southern tip of Hawaii where they bear witness to manifold unseen and unaccounted for objects and people tossed aside in the wake of global capitalism and progress. They tell us of well worn lanes of sea traffic, forgotten people, disposable cheap goods, and international fishing rights and violations.
Worn by their travel, the objects appear as relics of another time, a former civilization. In fact, Pam Longobardi has brought them to the gallery as prophetic objects that are ruins of our future. Otherwise said, today's trace of petrochemical plastics afloat on overly trafficked seas tell the tale of our precarious cultural ecology and possible environmental collapse.
Yet, with art there is hope that we will recognize our refuse and imaginealong with the artista different future. Longobardi imbues forgotten fragments with an aura and mystery. The gallery provides a space of contemplation where the viewer is invited to consider ways of piecing together irreconcilable images-- Hawaiian beaches, ocean waves, industrial progress and refuse.
-Ron Broglio, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University