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

Amphibious Architecture

Amphibious Architecture is a public artwork that creates a dynamic and captivating layer of light above the surface of the water that makes visible the invisible through real-time sensing of the environmental health New York’s urban rivers. Two networks of floating interactive tubes, installed at sites in the East River and the Bronx River, house a range of sensors below water and an array of lights above water. The sensors monitor water quality, presence of fish, and human interest in the river ecosystem. The lights respond to the sensors and create feedback loops between humans, fish, and their shared environment. An SMS interface allows citizens to text-message the fish, to receive real-time information about the river, and to contribute to a
display of collective interest in the environment.

Smog Tasting

The Centre for Genomic Gastronomy brings us this playful pubic performance around the serious issue of heavy air pollution in Indian cities. By whipping up egg foams in different busy street corners of Bangalore and making them into cookies, one could literally test and taste for different pollutants. As the artists Zack Denfield and Cat Kramer (of CGG) put it “The tragedy of the commons never tasted so good!”. They are also at pains to point out that eating these toxins is no more harmful than breathing them, something city residents do all the time without thinking. Like a Trojan horse these ‘smog cookies’ brought new attention to a mostly invisible issue.

Particle Falls

Particle Falls is the work of artists Andrea Polli and Chuck Varga, which visualises real-time small particulate matter air pollution (PM 2.5) in downtown San Jose via the changing scale of a laser light cascade on the side of a city building. The work is made possible through the AirNow project which shares live air pollution data throughout the US. It aims to raise awareness amogst the public of air pollution and thereby encourage behavioural change. The piece is also accompanied by a real time web visualisation.

Air-Port City

Argentinian artist Tomas Saraceno‘s work speaks to us of an alternative way of living, through the creation of self-contained ecosystems that invite us to live in floating worlds or bubbles, free from borders and free from a potentially polluted world. He approaches the subject of climate change from the viewpoint of an architect offering a Utopic vision, one which is both inviting and frightening if we consider that we might need to create alternative worlds if we continue to allow the earth to degrade. Saraceno’s work also poetically emphasises the links between all living things through the intricate and complex web that his own creations exhibit.

Gyre

Depicting the scale of mass human consumption in his series of photos ‘Running the Numbers I and II: portraits of global mass culture’ Chris Jordan stretches our ability to conceive of this mad reality. More sculptural than photographic, the work is meticulous and the results poetic and startling. His ability to elevate statistics to fine art is a unique and powerful reminder of the continuing relevance of art in communicating the impact we are having on the planet. Gyre,pictured, depicts 2.4 million pieces of plastic, equal to the estimated number of pounds of plastic pollution that enter the world’s oceans every hour. All of the plastic in this image was collected from the Pacific Ocean, and when you zoom in on the image you can see every one.