Here’s where we share all the cool projects we’ve come across. Ones that inspire, surprise and touch the heart. In all these ways we see how artists open new avenues for change. Click on the categories below to browse our directory of projects. Enjoy!

5 Recent Things

Birding the Future

Birding the Future is a sound and stereoscopic installation that brings extinct birds back to life. Reflecting on the role of birds as warning messengers and their disappearance as part of the ‘sixth extinction’, the project asks: “What does it mean that we can only see and hear extinct species through technology? How can traditional ecological knowledge be combined with technological advances to increase awareness of our role in the environment?”

Within Invisibility

Artist Jiayu Liu uses wind data from 40 Chinese cities to power a poetic installation that seeks to test the boundaries of data representation at the same time connecting us to a powerful force of nature. An innovative use of city data, we’re excited by what the work of this RCA graduate might bring to the realisation of more sensitive and sustainable urban environments.

Brickets

Could it take a a synthetic representation of nature to jolt us back into re-appreciating its beauty and our reliance upon it? That’s one the questions Pierre Proske is seeking to explore with his Brickets. So named for their chirping sounds and brickish size, the Brickets reinterpret data from local environmental sources such as the nearest home’s water usage, into animal like calls, which rise and ebb in response to one another, much like a synthesised colony of frogs, cicadas or crickets.

KiloWatt Hours

KiloWatt Hours, by Sydney based artist Tega Brain, uses lasers to inscribe in space the fluctuations of energy used by the surrounding building over time. KiloWatt Hours thus converts energy meter data into the readable form of an ‘energy clock.’, and the audience is prompted to consider the invisible consumption of energy in everyday life. Over time the laser light fades, and KiloWatt Hours forgets itself, in the same way we let our own energy use slip from memory.

Measuring Cup

A simple representation of Sydney’s climate data, Mitchell Whitelaw’s Measuring Cup makes it possible to hold the past 150 years of temperature information in the palm of your hand. Generated and printed using 3D technology, Measuring Cup uses temperature averages, like the rings of a tree, only stacked vertically. The result is delicate and beautiful, like the climate it represents, and it raises the question ‘what shape will it take in 10, 20 or 50 years?’

5 Random Things

Live Forever

Live Forever is the work of artists Jenna Didier and Oliver Hess whose practice Infranatural seeks to tie the built environment to the natural pulse of a living city. A Los Angeles fire station is host to the public art work, which acts as a barometer of the county’s fire risk through a web of humidity & temperature sensors stretched across the facade like a a growing vine. LED lights at each node flash across the building in shades of blue to red, making people aware of their environment, frequently warning them to take care with sparks and cigarettes.

Trashtrack

TrashTrack is the work of MIT’s Senseable Cities Lab, and part of a vision for creating behavioural change through pervasive technologies. By attaching sensors to individual items of rubbish and visualising its passage through the waste stream, the project raises awareness about waste disposal and the impacts of our smallest decisions, such as the purchase of a disposable coffee cup.

State of Design Festival - Change by Design

The 2010 State of Design Festival in Melbourne focussed on the role of Design to effect change. Many environmental themes were explored, including A Liveable Cities Exhibition, sponsored by Melbourne Water, which brought together leading Melbourne designers to present fascinating installations relating to current water use and suggestions for sustainable change. Pictured is one work, which encouraged people to take home a tube, each containing a prediction of the future, to consider. An interesting example of how a company can harness the arts to visualise and communicate environmental relationships to help meet its goals.

Beach Plastic

Artists Judith Selby Lang and Richard Lang have been collecting plastic washed up on their local North Californian beach since 1999 and making it to art in an ongoing project called Beach Plastic. Their plastic collages and installations are photographed and bound into art books – pictured here is a stunning collection of Kraft cheese dip sticks! The Pacific Ocean alone is polluted with about 100 million tons of floating trash, 80-percent of which came from land-based sources. Through their consistent efforts, the pair are now experts on ocean pollution, and find hope through the communication of the impacts of a throw-away society that comes from their work.

COAL

COAL is a Paris-based organisation that stands for ‘coalition pour l’art et le développement durable’, translated as the coalition for art and sustainable development. It brings together professionals in contemporary art with environmental and research professionals. They award an annual prize of 10,000 euros to a contemporary artist proposing an environmentally themed work. They also commission exhibitions, events and generate publications.