An UnNatural Diet (2021)
 

Installation of three native pieces to Lake Erie which ingests microplastics, the Walleye, Rainbow Smelt, and Phytoplankton. The plastic pollution was collected from Lake Erie by Alexis Oltmer and the Buffalo Niagara Water Keepers.

"Making art with freshwater plastic pollution has been an exciting process that has left me with many questions regarding the origin story of the products turned into pollution. The life cycle of each pollution object began with an idea, created through design, supply chains, approval processes, production, advertising then put onto shelves and brought into our lives via consumption. There is a human aspect behind the pollution, that I enjoy capturing visually and physically as “time capsules”, relics of the capitalocene, industry, and consumption. By creating art with these objects I question the “original use” of these plastic pollution objects and create a new narrative that swifts the conversation that questions the capitalocene, demands corporate responsibility, and encourages community action."  - Alexis Oltmer

An UnNatural Diet was created with support from the Buffalo Niagara Water Keepers for permanent installation at the Aquarium of Niagara and was funded by NOAA.