Slimewatch by Susi Arnott & Crispin Hughes
Slimewatch by Susi Arnott & Crispin Hughes


Dr. Susi Arnott, Prof.Jane Lewis and Dain Son, 2019 (Films, photographs and data visualisation)

A study of photosynthetic commuters in central London that keep time with the tides. As the water ebbs, micro-algae migrate vertically from the sediment to the surface in their trillions. They set to work photosynthesising: different communities evolve their own pigment cocktails, and they daub muddy foreshores turmeric, forest-green, bronze. Many commute back down before the water – and grazing fish – return.

Time-lapse imagery reveals colour & change over tidal cycles; photo-colorimetry measures and names these colours; light & electron microscopy help us identify and count species and density. Science and art together explore relationships between colour and biomass.

Duck by Crispin Hughes & Susi Arnott
Duck by Crispin Hughes & Susi Arnott


Crispin Hughes & Susi Arnott (Film, 8 min 30 sec. 2018)

Informed by work with the Big Data Inst. (Prof.So a Olhede, UCL)

Beneath Dark House Walk, beside London Bridge, a plastic duck is locked in a twelve-hour selfie. As the Thames tide rises and lifts them, they generate time-lapsed video and real-time audio data. Meanwhile, a fixed observer watches from above, making its own recordings. Frames of reference, timescales and data visualisation are juxtaposed in this composite film.

Is that a fixed grin, or is complacency turning to panic? ‘She dreamed she was delivered of a tennis-ball, which the devil (who, to her great surprise, acted the part of a midwife) struck so forcibly with a racket that it disappeared in an instant; and she was for some time inconsolable for the last of her offspring; when, all on a sudden, she beheld it return with equal violence, and enter the earth, beneath her feet’

Keepers by Crispin Hughes
Keepers by Crispin Hughes


Crispin Hughes (90 image projection, 7min 30sec. 2019)

What do we keep and what do we cast out?

We have been working with a portable daylight studio on the Thames foreshore, to produce an almost indiscriminate catalogue of objects, many collected during Thames 21’s clean-up and research events.

Objects of disgust will be returned to the river or bagged-up for recycling into something acceptable. Historical or ‘artistic’ items may be collected and raised to a higher plane. Other items may be taken as evidence, or present a baffling amalgam of the living and dead, human and natural, toxic and benign. The studio is designed to photograph the objects on the foreshore while they’re still trailing water and slime.

They hover, privileged, above the tidal ground on which they have been found, poised between the museum and the mud. Immersion in the tidal water causes objects to come adrift from their origins. Things we wish to go away, from religious offerings to wet-wipes, return with a sea change. Our habitual associations and connotations are often switched about. The ugly becomes beautiful, the deeply personal becomes public.

The Moon and the City

Susi Arnott, 2016 (timelapse lm,16min 46sec loop)

The Thames estuary has two tides each lunar day; in the past, these determined London’s trade, political activity and social life. Time-lapse brings this rhythm into our frame of perception. The film tracks moonrise to the East, transit across the Southern sky and moonset in the West - and looks Northwards for another tide rise, as the moon slips round behind our planet to rise again.

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