The Krill Project

Tess Campbell & Sam Mountford


26th July – 16th August, 2019

Thoughts from Sam Mountford


I asked you to take me to the kelp forest at Fossil Cove. In the car on the way you told me not to panic if I became ensnared but to just relax and let the kelp rock me back and forth until it eventually lets go. You said that when you free dive you have to relinquish control to the Other, encounter it on its own terms, or something like that; one of your casual gems. While I swam close to the surface you dived to the bottom and searched for abalone and sea urchin. I approached the kelp tentatively and when I re-watch the footage my discomfort is palpable in the jerky movements of the GoPro. In comparison your movements were graceful and direct. When we were done filming I sat on a rock and watched the oily patches the kelp made on the water’s surface while you continued hunting. You came back with one abalone and two sea urchins that you cut open with your knife and we ate the gonads raw. This is your revenge against the sea urchins that have deforested the kelp with their mouths. They followed the warming coastal waters from New South Wales and came upon an abundant food source with no large natural predators to mediate their appetites. Now you act as that predator but they were too many and too fast. The kelp forest no longer exists in that place. In a seminar catastrophe was described as a world without shadows, I thought of this when I revisited the footage from Fossil Cove.