Aegres | The Heavy Metal Oyster Pontoon
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The Heavy Metal Oyster Pontoon




Access & Surveillance, Audio & Vision, Communications & Networking, Information Technology, Integration & Control, Lighting & Blinds

About This Project

The Heavy Metal Oyster Pontoon is an art / science collaboration by Kirsha Kaechele aimed to raise awareness of and gather data about the heavy metal contamination of the River Derwent. The raft enlists baskets of Oysters, one of natures finest heavy metal filtration systems, to filter the poisonous heavy metals from the river.


The Heavy Metal Oyster Pontoon Observation System monitors, records and visualises marine and meteorological data including salinity, turbidity, oxygenation, water temperature, air temperature, tidal depth, current speed and direction, barometric pressure, relative humidity, rainfall, and solar and UV radiation levels. This data is preserved in a database and visualised on an information display in the nearby Heavy Metal Retaining Wall on the MONA lawns, this information display allows the public to observe current and historical marine and meteorological data and their relation to the health of the oysters in the pontoon baskets. Four oysters in the pontoon baskets have been fitted with oyster monitoring devices provided by CSIRO, these allow the display of the oysters heartbeat and shell gape on the Heavy Metal Retaining Wall information display. An underwater camera allows the public to observe the monitored Oysters in their baskets.


An intelligent lighting system using Philips Dynalite controllers interprets this data and oxygenation levels in the water control the colour of RGB LED strip reflecting in the water as if it were blood, with low oxygen levels giving of a blue hue and high a deep red, giving the river a life of its own.



  • Airmar
  • Ponsel
  • Dynalite
  • AXIS
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Davis