Tides Cecilia Jonsson 2017

'Tides' is a series of rising tidal records presented as a mixed media installation of textile and time-based photographic works. The project explores the marine environment and how it adapts to the gravitational interactions between the Earth, the Moon and the Sun. Over myriad locations autonomous, textile-based tide gauges absorb the waters’ approximate pH in attempt to register tidal dynamics and the elusive concept known as the "mean sea level."

Two key variables in determining tide height are seabed topography and coastal topography, which humans both have changed in extensive ways. Searching for such an unstable average surface height has recently taken more urgent importance due to global warming and rising sea levels. The tide represents not only an environmental and scientific challenge, but also a force whose physical and psychological influence on our culture cannot be denied.

Vertical structures with tensioned fabric, dyed with the natural pH indicator anthocyanin, are positioned in the intertidal zone to absorb a tidal cycle. As the fabric absorbs the rising water and the chemical reactions form color are retained in the textile. Anthocyanin, a natural pigment, gives rise to an expansive color scale, extending from red (sour) to violet (neutral) and green-yellow (strong basic) when breaking down.​

Installed in select sites (coasts, salt marshes, wetlands, lakes, rivers, locations under environmental stress) diverse in political, religious and mythic reference and in proximity to man-made water control structures – 'Tides' aids to explore the science and history of the greatest force on earth and yield new insight of our own impact on this watery planet.

Developed with the support of the City of Bergen and The Association of Norwegian Visual Artist (BKH)

Presentations of Tides

Criss-Crossing Ecologies, group show, Annantolo Arts Centre, Helsinki, Finland, 2020