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avatar for Colleen Flanigan

Colleen Flanigan

Living Sea Sculpture
Founding Artist and Director
Santa Cruz, California

Colleen Flanigan works at the intersection of art, science, technology, and the environment. She is the first visual artist to be certified in electrolytic mineral accretion, a method for coral reef restoration that shares many metallurgical, electrical and chemical principles with her early jewelry and sculpture, which encompassed electroforming, casting, welding, surface patinas, and mixed media fabrication. She and an international, interdisciplinary team created an artistic DNA-inspired coral refuge, Zoe - A Living Sea Sculpture, which is a scientific research project and unique tourist attraction in Cozumel, Mexico. Presently she is collaborating with the BiCMat Group led by Orlando Rojas of Aalto University and the University of British Columbia to develop biopolymer-based biocompatible materials that can be used for coral reef restoration. She is on a quest to revitalize and cultivate devastated areas devoid of natural marine substrates due to acts of nature and of humans. Her work with IMC Lab utilizes VR and AR to synthesize and integrate the real world with the imagined so we can highlight what matters to us for cultural advancement on topics of climate change and extinction, visualizing new futures of health, healing, and possibility through surreal, fantastical, and realistic immersions.

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