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

Carbon Ecologies

Australian artist, curator and environmentalist Richard Thomas, has been working for over 20 years in various media exploring the intersect of art, culture and environment, including the carbon cycle and climate change. His 2008 project Carbon Ecologies, exhibited a range of works by different artists on the themes of the carbon economy and management in different countries, including a video works, painting, photography and installation. Local brown coal burnt in real time to generated the electricity which lit the exhibition.

Feral Robotic Dogs

Feral Robotic Dogs is a project initiated by artist, Natalie Jeremijenko, who heads up xDesign Environmental Health Clinic at New York University. Robotic dogs, desperate to perform more useful tasks than the ones they were programmed for, are released into contaminated environments where they can ‘sniff’ out harmful chemicals and communicate this information to interested community members via an open source platform. A playful introduction to a serious topic, feral robotic dogs is one of a series of projects by Jeremijenko that explore the use of art and technology to effect social and environmental change

Alvin Sputnik, Deep Sea Explorer

This touching, award-winning theatrical performance Alvin Sputnik, Deep Sea Explorer reveals the human condition at the end of the world when seas have risen to overtake most of humanity. Using a masterful combination of animation, puppetry and song, artist Tim Watts charts the adventures of an average guy sent to the bottom of the sea to find another version of Earth hidden in the Earth’s core. Humorous, but ultimately damning, the performance is a warning tale for adults and children alike of what we stand to lose if we continue to bury our heads in the sand.

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.

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.