Artist: Kristina Õllek
Title: Waters of Hypoxic Slime and Tropic Lime
Venue: Kogo Gallery, Tartu
3.5 billion years ago, being present then and now,
the oldest known organism is living among us.
The catalyst and the changer of Earth’s life forms,
creating the oxygenic atmosphere as we know and breathe.
Breathe breathe breathe, say hello to cyanobacteria.
At a broad range of wavelengths and light intensities,
this oxygenic photosynthesis organism performs the solar energy conversion,
of water and CO₂ to O₂ and sugar.
Being an important part of the global ecology and oxygen cycle,
and yet with higher water temperature and generous stir
of phosphorus, nitrogen and weak water management,
it becomes a noxious energy blend.
Blooming blooms, blooming blue-green algal blooms,
the greenish surface taking over the water and air,
producing cyanotoxin, some of the most powerful natural poisons known.
The excess energy creates the toxic cocktail of green,
becoming a creator of oxygen dead zones, the hypoxic zones.
The visible effect of cultural eutrophication, I see you.
Moved by the flows of geopolitics, power, waste and fertilisers,
the jellyfishes are present too, floating carelessly.
Breathing in the saturated water,
rising slime, and other blooms.
I’m here at the seaside, lungs filled with the air of hypoxic water,
walking on, and holding a limestone piece,
accumulation of the once marine environment,
dating back perhaps 440 million years.
I take a sip of the mineral water, which label says:
water from the depths of Cambrian-Ordovician-Silurian times.
My mouth becomes full of aquatic history.
Do you remember?