AT ONE POINT, PLASTIC WAS THE FUTURE. It represented space-age efficiency and antiseptic cleanliness—a modern miracle of science set to send the human race sliding into its destiny, shiny and sleek. Today, this ubiquitous material tells a different story, one of strangled wildlife and poisoned seas, dying ecosystems and coming calamity. Currently on display at Ringling College of Art and Design, Microplastics explores how these materials became embedded in every facet of modern life, and how the previously unseen side effects—tiny pieces of plastic no more than 5mm in size, which shed from consumable products into the environment—are mounting. Curated by Mark Ormond, Junior Illustration major Tess Lockey and several Ringling students contributed to this show that unites objective data with artistic response and a call to social responsibility. Microplastics runs through December 14 in the Willis Smith Gallery at Ringling College. 

ON HOMEPAGE: “PLASTIC CONSUMPTION” BY DIONISIUS MEHAGA BANGUN DJAYASAPUTRA AND “LUNCH” (THIS PAGE) BY MARIAH RAYNE MOSES.