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"Herbarium Perrine (Marine Algae)"Mark Dion

August 7, 2008

In this film, Mark Dion describes the artistic benefits of marine algae as an art medium in his Pennsylvania home. No stranger to the incorporation of natural elements as art-making materials, Dion’s innate infatuation with nature is evident as he describes the effect of the aquatic plant when pressed onto paper: “We collect the algaes, we put them in this press between blotter paper. And then, over a period of about three weeks, they sort of dry.”

“I like very much the way that seaweeds have a natural glue to them,” Dion explains, comparing the two-dimensionality and crispness of the dried seaweed to an illustration on paper.

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Producer: Susan Sollins & Nick Ravich. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Roger Phenix. Editor: Steven Wechsler.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Mark Dion

Mark Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. Appropriating archaeological and other scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects, Dion creates works that question the distinctions between “objective” (“rational”) scientific methods and “subjective” (“irrational”) influences. By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Mark Dion questions the authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society.

“I like very much the way that seaweeds have a natural glue to them.”

Mark Dion

On the Environment

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Science and Aesthetics

Artist Mark Dion discusses his work’s relation to performance, authority, aesthetics and humor.

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Mark Dion

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Mark Dion