1: a : the action of entangling : the state of being entangled
b : something that entangles, confuses, or ensnares
2: the condition of being deeply involved
Charles James Moore refers to entanglement as a one of the three threats to marine organisms resulting from the presence of plastic and debris in the oceans, the other two being ingestion1 and rafting.2 In this sense, this term literally refers to the entanglement of organisms in debris, such as nets and ropes, dumped into the oceans as consumer waste. Marine Biologists have coined a term for the conglomeration of nets, called Ghost Nets. These nets compile together during their travels in the dierent currents and create a large ball of nets and ropes. Like Hilbertz says in his article about electrodeposition, marine animals will make a home out of anything they can get inside of. These “ghost nets” become deathtraps and animals seeking shelter die from being strangled or starvation from not being able to move to catch prey.
Since much of the debris consists of cultural and societal artifacts, entanglement can also refer to the idea of being trapped and surrounded within the ropes of our consumerist culture.
1 Ingestion is a threat to marine organisms determined by C.J. Moore. It refers to the consumption of the different types of plastics in the Great Pacfic Gyre by marine animals and birds. In many cases, the animals cannot tell the difference between what is plastic and what is food, and make the mistake of “ingesting” the plastic. Ironically, the plastic that humans are throwing into the ocean are being ingested by the sh that we eat, meaning we could be consuming our own plastic waste.
2 To C.J. Moore, rafting literally refers to organisms being (unknowingly) transported to new environments by debris in the oceans however this is also applicable on a larger scale. Rafting is the unknown factors released into our environment, changing its composition and the way in which it operates, 'transporting' us to or creating a new form of the environment we are used to.
Margaret Cohen, "Fluid States" in Cabinet, Issue No.16: The Sea (Winter: 2004/2005), pp.75-82.
Keller Easterling, "The Confetti of Empire," in Cabinet, Issue No.16: The Sea (Winter: 2004/2005).
Wolf Hilbertz, "Electrodeposition of Minerals in Sea Water: Experiments and Applications," IEEE Journal on Oceanic Engineering, Vol. OE-4, No.3 (1979), pp.94-113.
Wolf Hilbertz, "Toward CyberTecture," Progressive Architecture (May 1970), pp.98-103.
McHale, John. "The Future of the Future: Inner Space." Architectural Design 37 (February, 1967), pp. 64-95.
Katavolos, William. "Organics," in Ulrich Conrads (Ed.), Programs and Manifestoes on the 20th Century Architecture (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1970), pp.163-165.
Gordon Pask, "A Proposed Evolutionary Model," H.von Foerster and G.W. Zopf, Jr. (Eds.), Principles of Self Organization: Transactions of the Illinois Symposium, (New York: Harper, 1961), pp: 229-254.