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

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.

Secret Life of Things

The Secret Life of Things was a series of animations, commissioned by EPA Victoria and company Eco Innovators, for the State of Design festival 2010 in Melbourne, communicating the life-cycle impacts of common products. Life-pscyclology – the secret life of the phone is one of them. Created by Layla Acaroglu, it depicts a phone going to therapy to try and discover why he’s been abadoned and how he can emark on a new life – based on the valuable materials contained within him. Very cute!

Sun Boxes

Sun Boxes is an immersive environment of sound and site. Consisting of twenty speakers operating independently each powered by solar panels, there is a different guitar sample in each box playing simultaneously in an evolving composition. Participants are encouraged to walk amongst the speakers creating a unique self-guided experience. There are no batteries involved, the Sun Boxes are reliant on the sun. When the sun sets the music stops. The piece changes as the length of the day changes, making the participants aware of the cycle of the day.

WEEE Man

A project of the RSA and Canon Europe, the WEEE man is made up of all the electronic waste that one typical UK person generates in a lifetime, from fridges to stereos to stove-tops. Created to illustrate and communicate the purposes of the EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Products Directive, the WEEE man first appeared along the Thames in London in 2006, and was supported by Canon Europe. A fabulous visualisation feat, the WEEE man is an excellent example of the power of art to communicate the impacts of individual consumer choices, and generate support for legislation to address the need to recycle.