Douglas Coupland on Marine Pollution

Art meets environment with keynote speaker Douglas Coupland

One of the most requested new speakers is making waves with his work. Douglas Coupland is using his craft to motivate others to push for environmental change. His latest exhibit Vortex is featured at the Vancouver aquarium as part of a new initiative with Oceanwise. The surreal experience is focused on marine pollution – showcasing the dark side of plastic and our one-time-use consumption lifestyle:


In the messy stage of production. Opens May 18

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Sustainability Speakers: The Lens of Marine Pollution

Are you looking for a unique approach to talks focused on the environment & sustainability?

Coupland’s latest installation Vortex casts light on the issue of marine plastic pollution. He uses a creative and interactive lens to frame the issue of environmental sustainability.

In his unique and widely acclaimed style, he blends media and technology to create a thought-provoking and engaging audience experience that examines our role in this global issue.

Called one of the “most original commentators on mass culture” by the Canadian Encyclopedia, Coupland explores the strange new relationship humans have established with the planet & what it means for our future.

Learn more about Coupland’s presentations:

Washed Up Inspiration

While on the shore of Haida Gwaii, a beautiful cluster of islands off the west coast of Canada,  Coupland spotted the catalyst for this entire project – a plastic shampoo bottle. He instantly recognized that it was from Japan (he had bought a box of them a decade earlier for another project). Disturbed by pollution touching this sanctuary, the former Google artist in residence wanted to raise public awareness.

Using garbage and found materials collected from beachcombing, Coupland has created an eerie look at exactly what is ending up in our oceans.

Drawing inspiration from the Great Pacific garbage patch, Andy Warhol, and reused art, Coupland’s work speaks to his changing experience with plastic from the 1960s when it was seen as “glamorous” to today when he finds himself unable to think “uncritically” of it.

Coupland brings a playfulness and message of hope – hinting at future activism with his collection.  He employs the juxtaposition and interaction of various media pieces including screens displaying images of Haida Gwaii’s beauty and an ambient soundtrack from the island:


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Resources used for this article: 
The Georgia Straight | Douglas Coupland tackles marine-pollution crisis with playful, plastic-packed installation