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ExhibitionDeeper than Light is and international touring exhibition based upon the discoveries from the MAR-ECO project. The travelling exhibition highlights impressions, images and results from this relatively unknown and inaccessible frontier.

Science, Technology and Art

This exhibition demonstrates the synergy effect that results from the meeting of scientists, technology and artists. Deeper than Light invites the visitors to experience the unknown world and discoveries from the deep sea by presenting:

  • deep sea animals
  • art
  • images
  • films
  • models
  • interactive audiovisual software

Science: specimensScience

Curiosity drives marine scientists who study the vast, unexplored depths of the ocean basins, an environment that forms a major portion of earth’s biosphere. Our scientific perceptions of the deep ocean are based on the results and collections from a series of research expeditions conducted since 1870.

Such expeditions attract international teams of experts who try to tackle the challenge of gathering exact qualitative and quantitative information on the identity, biology and ecology of organisms inhabiting an environment that is difficult to access.

Such expeditions attract international teams of experts who try to tackle the challenge of gathering exact qualitative and quantitative information on the identity, biology and ecology of organisms inhabiting an environment that is difficult to access.

In the summer of 2004 the Norwegian research vessel G.O. Sars set out for a two-month expedition to explore the marine life of the northern Atlantic Ocean above the mid-Atlantic Ridge. A team of international scientists and students observed a wide range of organisms and their habitats, and assembled a vast dataset and collection of biological samples now curated at Bergen Museum, Norway.

The expedition followed in the tradition of that of the RV Michael Sars, which in 1910 conducted a similar four-month expedition crossing the Atlantic several times, using the newest technology of that time. Collections from the 1910 expedition are also curated in Bergen and still attract researchers from around the world.

Technology: Lander

The scientific perception of ocean life depends not only on scientific enquiry, but also on the development of advanced technology for direct and indirect observation and sampling under challenging conditions.

Modern research vessels, such as the RV G.O. Sars, are equipped for carrying out a multitude of tasks on the same cruise.

These tasks include electronically monitored sampling with many different nets and trawls that sample discrete depths, optical observation and recording using cameras fitted on instruments packages that are lowered on a wire or fitted on remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and acoustical recording using instruments (echo-sounders, sonars, current metres) fitted on the hull of the ship or on moorings. Some manned submersibles have been developed that under certain circumstances can actually take people to great depths.

Art :Photos by David ShaleArt

Creative artists and scientists share the need to observe, interpret, and express. On the 1910 RV Michael Sars expedition the scientific illustrator and distinguished artist Thorolv Rasmussen started his career. Building on this tradition, today’s research ventures also invite artists to participate. The distinguished artist Ørnulf Opdahl and the award-winning freelance wildlife photographer David Shale participated in the 2004 RV G.O.Sars expedition.

Ørnulf Opdahl
Ørnulf Opdahl is Norway’s most distinguished contemporary landscape painter. He participated in the MAR-ECO expedition aboard the RV G.O.Sars in 2004 for one month. Aboard the G.O.Sars, Opdahl captured his impressions in sketches and watercolours. His “on board” anthology has provided the basis for inspiration for many oil and watercolour paintings and prints.

David Shale
After leaving research in 1979, Shale devoted himself full-time to filming and photographing wildlife. He has been involved in the making of the BBC series Blue Planet and Live from the Abyss. Shale participated on Leg 2 of the 2004 MAR-ECO expedition to the mid-Atlantic Ridge on the RV G.O.Sars

Thorolv Rasmussen
Thorolv Rasmussen was employed as scientific illustrator at the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research 1910 –1950. He started his career with the RV Michael Sars expedition to the North Atlantic in 1910. His detailed drawings of animals and seascapes are now deposited with Bergen Museum.

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