Julian Priest at Vital Transformations Mauri Ora

Title: Sink
Artist: Julian Priest
Date: 2012
Material: Scallop shell, internal combustion engine, glass, aluminium, copper,
brine, methanol
Dimensions: 135mm x 250mm x 50mm
Weight: 1Kg (2.5Kg including case)

‘Sink’ is a model of anthropogenic ocean acidification. Fuel is burnt by an internal combustion engine to turn a propeller. The carbon dioxide rich exhaust gasses are piped into a tank containing brine and a scallop shell. The dissolved carbon dioxide creates carbonic acid and increases the acidity of the brine. The calcium carbonate in the shell slowly begins to dissolve.

During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum 55 Million years ago, rapidly rising C02 levels, resulting from the combustion of methane, coincided with a planetary break in shell production that lasted for 100,000 years

Artist Bio

Julian Priest

Julian Priest


Julian Priest is an independent artist based in New Zealand and exhibiting internationally. His work is highly interdisciplinary and includes participatory and technological forms, exploring themes including networks, environment, infrastructure, time, gravity, communications, and space. He has a background in wireless free-networking and open spectrum advocacy. Recent works includes the Citizen Water Map Lab, a citizen science water testing laboratory and he is currently working on The Weight of Information, a satellite based artwork scheduled for launch in late 2018. He publishes regularly and is Teaching Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington in mobile media. Currently he is artist in residence at the Thomas King Observatory in Wellington.


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