May or May not

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What will it be?

3D sculptures of vanished coral reefs crafted from biodegradable material. Adorning it are images of neon coral bleaching (or colors are used to refer to the neon coral bleaching).

I remained focused on exploring the phenomenon of neon coral bleaching and discovering new ways to represent it visually. Neon bleaching occurs when environmental stressors such as rising water temperatures cause corals to expel the colorful algae that live within their tissues. While some corals turn ghostly white when they bleach, others can instead turn a bright range of neon colors in a final effort to survive. The corals' neon manifestation seems to be an urgent call for help. By zooming in on this neon bleaching, I try to show its paradoxical spectacle – at once captivating in its surreal appeal and intensely alarming as a harbinger of ecological collapse.

Why do you want to make it?

To instill awareness about the disappearing coral reefs and the importance of their protection. In recent years, the health of coral reefs has been deteriorating rapidly. Climate change poses the greatest threat to coral. As the Earth's temperature rises, so does the temperature of the seawater. A mere increase of 1 to 2 degrees can lead to coral mortality.

Coral reefs play a vital ecological role. Often found in waters with limited phytoplankton, the foundation of the marine food chain, they create true oases of life amidst the ocean desert. Moreover, they serve as natural barriers against cyclones, storms, and erosion, absorbing the force of the waves. Coral reefs serve as havens and nurseries for marine creatures, contributing to biodiversity and promoting fish populations, among other benefits. They purify water and act as excellent coastal protectors during extreme weather events.

This is a follow-up step to my previous project on coral neon bleaching.

NeonWarning Springboard 2

Describe how it would be made? Initially, research is conducted on vanished coral reefs using the Allen Coral Atlas. The atlas maps coral reefs worldwide and monitors the threats they face, providing actionable data and a collective understanding of coastal ecosystems. Subsequently, a vanished coral reef is selected to create a 3D model, which is then printed using a 3D printer with biodegradable material. Finally, consideration is given to imprinting images of coral neon bleaching onto the material.


October: Research on Allen Coral Atlas in order to find the actionable data from vanished coral reefs. Also further research about vanished coral reef, besides the Allen Coral Atlas, shall be done in this period. After this period I will make a selection of vanished coral reefs I want to work with.

November week 1/2: Research on what biodegradable material I want to use for the 3D prints

November week 3/4: Try outs with making the 3d prints of the vanished coral reefs

December week 1/2: Finalize the 3d prints.

December week 3/4: Experimenting with ways of incorporating image/moving image of neon coral bleaching to the 3d prints

Scratches 'May or May not'

Make a list of different coral reefs that are almost vanished.

- Pulau Seribu island group/Jakarta Bay

- Melinjo Island

- Saktu Island

- Seychellen

- Kingman Reef

Make screenshots from the Allen Coral Atlas of coral reefs that are almost vanished based on data from the Allen Coral Atlas.

Kingman Reef

Kingman Reef.png

Melinjo Island

Melinjo Island .png

Saktu Island

Saktu Island.png

Search for a biodegradable polymer that is used in 3D printing.

Biodegradable polymer 3D printing

Polylactic Acid PLA is considered to be the most important of all bio-based polyesters on the market (Jager, Ady). PLA is generally produced from sugar (sugar beets, sugarcanes, corn). Through fermentation, with the help of micro-organisms, lactic acid is produced. This is a highly efficient process. Per sugar molecule, two molecules of lactic acid are produced, without any residual products.


Bioplastic made from agar-agar

Bioplastic Test1
Bioplastic Test1

Endangered Coral Species

  • Dendrogyra cylindru (Pillar coral)
  • Mycetophyllia ferox (Rough cactus coral)
  • Orbicella annularis (Lobed star coral)
  • O. faveolata (Mountainous star coral)
  • O. franksi (Boulder star coral)
  • A. globiceps
  • A. jacquelinae
  • A. lokani
  • A. pharaonis
  • A. retusa
  • A. rudis
  • A. speciosa
  • A. tenella
  • Anacropora spinosa
  • Euphyllia paradivisa
  • Isopora crateriformis
  • Montipora australiensis
  • Pavona diffluens
  • Porites napopora
  • Seriatopora aculeata