JUNE 8, 2019 – AUGUST 17, 2019

The Michigan Science Center is pleased to host Michigan State University’s Science Gallery Detroit DEPTH exhibition this summer.


Our futures are directly linked to the future of water. What will that future be?

Water is life. Its presence affects all living things. From creation stories about life on Earth, to the looming devastating effects of pollution and climate change, water has the power to spread life and rejuvenation as well as death and destruction. Who has access to water? Who decides? These issues raise questions about water as a human right. About our responsibilities to water as a resource and our responsibilities to each other.

DEPTH, Science Gallery Detroit’s second exhibition, explores water’s intense power — one that creates catastrophic storms and floods — while also showcasing the beauty and life it brings. It weaves a narrative, drawn from scientific research and artistic exploration, that invites visitors to consider how we can value the power of water, understand why it brings us joy and life, stop our abuse of it, and wonder about the undiscovered and unknown.


DEPTH Events

Opening Day Event: Ocean Ceremony
June 8, 4:30 – 6 p.m.
Michigan Science Center, Toyota Engineering 4D Theater

A multisensory performance from the bottom of the ocean. Gaze through the lenses of the Schmidt Ocean Institute as it scans and scrutinizes the vibrant life of the deep sea, from massive coral pagodas to thermal vents and unexpected signs of human life. With a live audio-visual performance from Detroit Bureau of Sound, this one-night-only experience will leave you in awe of mother nature.

Shark! The Musical
June 14: 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. (each showing is 45-minutes)
June 15: 11 a.m./ 2 p.m. (each showing is 45-minutes)
Michigan Science Center, Toyota Engineering 4D Theater

Shark! empowers the audience to make tough choices and join the performers as they grapple with issues thematically represented by a great white shark. This performance project explores themes of racial identity, gender identity and the secrets that lie deep below the surface. The audience can input suggestions, vote on choices, and become shark, mentor, or hero in this 45-minute interactive musical.

Ecological Lullaby of the Rouge
June 15: at dusk
River Rouge Park Amphitheatre

This event will include a sunset walk along River Rouge Park in Detroit where participants can capture footage of the tiny details of the riparian zone and rivers edge using macro lenses that fit on cellular phones. Participants can assist in collecting macroinvertebrates from the river (depending on the water levels). Followed by a riverside screening of what both the participant collected footage and a live feed of the macroinvertebrates facilitators collected from both the Rouge, and another nearby waterway for comparison. The footage will be projected so that the image size will be quite large and viewable. Near the projection screen, there will be tables set up with two aquariums of macroinvertebrates collected in preparation for the event. One aquarium will contain macroinvertebrates found in the Rouge River, and the other will contain macroinvertebrates found at another site. During the screening, participants will be invited to discuss what they are observing. The event will close with the release of the macroinvertebrates back into the Rouge River.

Open Lab I Podcast Conversation: Land & Water
June 18, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Charles H. Wright Museum

Open conversation between Monica Lewis-Patrick, Yusef Shakur and Sacramento Knoxx from Aadizookaan about the water issues that affects the local community. The conversation will be recorded and shared during the DEPTH Exhibit. Monica Lewis Patrick is a leader of the water rights work in Detroit and Yusef Shakur is a leading community organizer who is “restoring the neighbor back in the hood.” Aadizookaan is a group of artists that incorporate Native Anishinaabe’s sacred stories through its works. This conversation will connect those working in grassroots and indigenous spaces to the land and water while also uplifting black and indigenous leadership work in Detroit.

Ship to Shore: Observing Seafloor Methane Seep
June 20: 1 – 2 p.m.
Michigan Science Center, Toyota Engineering 4D Theater

Live connections are available for 30 to 45 minute sessions. The video chat will include a virtual tour of the research vessel currently at sea, real-time activities of crew and instruments, and interaction with science team members as they discuss seafloor methane seeps. Followed by Q&A with the researchers live from their Research Vessel Falkor.

Detroit Water Portrait Workshop
June 28, 1 – 2 p.m.
Michigan Science Center, Nutrition Kitchen

Participants fill a five-inch sculpture with mud collected from local sources, along with nutrients that support microbial growth (eggshell, egg yolk, and newspaper). Participants will assemble the sculptures, discuss the vitality of bodies of water, the microbial life within it, and the ways we are connected to it. Followed by another discussion speaking to the responsibilities we have to care for bodies of water and strategies for a sustainable relationship with our broader ecology. The participants are then invited to take their sculpture home and watch the microbial life grow, forming vibrant patterns across the surface of the artwork.

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