Like There Is No Tomorrow

Lina Dib with Taylor Knapps

On Governor’s Island with SWALE and SpaceHL, June 23 – July 21, 2019
Commissioned by the Union of Concerned Scientists
Visit us at House 15 in Nolan Park! 

Commissioned by the Union of Concerned Scientists as part of Science Rising.

Image courtesy of David DeHoyos

Projectors, Motion Sensors, Custom Software

“It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist; the threat is rather to life itself.” – Rachel Carson

Like There is No Tomorrow is a large-scale interactive video installation that examines species decline in the Anthropocene. Footage of the Gulf of Mexico’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is brought to the surface. As viewers and traffic move in front of the work, the underwater images of the corals turn white. Watery and whimsical, slow and ephemeral, this work is a reflection on the root of the word disaster – to be under a bad star, headed in the wrong direction. By tuning in to these at once beautiful and troubled places, we may begin to find new stars, to find new ways to navigate and redesign our relationships within natural systems.

Commissioned by the Union of Concerned Scientists, and part of the nation-wide Science Rising movement, the work highlights the important role of science in civic engagement. 

Special thanks to Dr. Adrienne Correa and NOAA Scientists at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary; Theresa Escobedo and Main Street Projects; Colin Hendee; Ryan McGaw; Paul Middendorf; Mary Mattingly; Neiman Catley; Rice University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences; and Rice University’s Strategic Initiatives.

For this piece, Dib is collaborating with Houston-based programmer and interaction designer Taylor Knapps. Knapps’ work has been shown across Texas at venues including Day for Night, SXSW, and Free Press Summer Fest. Together Dib and Knapps play with images, sounds, code and other species.

Union of Concerned Scientists. 2018. “Art for Science Rising: Artists drawing attention to the role science plays in our democracy,” Dec.
Santiago, A. 2018. “Bringing Science to Midtown Streets,” Clutch City Science. Nov 1.
Union of Concerned Scientists. 2018. “Artist Brings Coral Reef to Texas Pedestrians,”  Oct. 30.
Stuckey, A. 2018. “Coral Reef Art Exhibit to Show How Humans Can Damage These Ecosystems,” Houston Chronicle, Oct.3.

On view  Oct 4th 2018 – EXTENDED through November 30th, 2018
Main Street Projects, 3550 S Main Street, Houston, Texas, 77002
Oct 4th, 7-10pm, Reception in conjunction with Mid-Main Houston’s October First Thursday block
Oct 11th, 6pm, at Rice University, Sewall Hall 309, Ocean Optimism talk by Nancy Knowlton. 
Oct 15th, 6-8pm, “Explore Our Backyard Coral Reef” workshop with marine biologist Dr. Adrienne Correa
Main Street Projects, 3550 S Main Street, Houston, Texas, 77002

Coral reef ecosystems contribute more than US$30 billion annually to the global economy by stabilizing coastlines, supporting fisheries, and serving as eco-tourism destinations. The benefits associated with reef ecosystems are being lost as corals around the world die from exposure to warming seas and other stressors derived from human activities. By 2030, 90% of the world’s coral reefs will be highly threatened, and nearly all reefs could be gone by 2050. Come “dive” on life-size 2D coral reefs from the Gulf of Mexico, touch real coral reef frameworks, and learn how marine scientists assess the health of these beautiful and valuable ecosystems.

Dr. Adrienne Correa is a member of the BioSciences Department at Rice University. She first learned to scuba dive in graduate school, while collecting invasive ants in the Hawaiian Islands. Adrienne’s research turned to the ocean shortly thereafter, and today she explores the role of microbes in the health of coral reefs that are experiencing rapid environmental change. She serves on the Advisory Council for the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, home to Texas’s own coral reefs. Her research and teaching take her to coral reefs around the world, including the Gulf of Mexico, Australia, Belize, Panama, and the South Pacific.


Other Iterations

A series of interactive installations that examine species decline in the Anthropocene during our residency at Rice University’s Solar Studios.

Like There Is No Tomorrow


with Fossilized Houston
in collaboration with Taylor Joseph Knapps and Alex Ramos