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

360 eARTh

In the lead up to Cancun, activist organisation 350.org harnessed the power of the arts to send a message from communities all around the world through giant works that could be seen from space. Many thousands of people responded to the call with poignant images referring to species loss, sea-level rise and future generations. The full set of EARTH photos can be viewed on their Facebook page.

Public Smog

Public Smog is a conceptual work by artist Amy Balkin, which seeks to challenge the wisdom of carbon trading (and the trading of other pollutants such as sulphur dioxide). By purchasing these credits and presenting them as a public park in the air, Balkin confronts the economic notion of clean air as a public commons and the use of property rights to solve problems of air pollution. The work points to the difficulties inherent in communicating and addressing the issue of emissions reduction, and serves as a stimulating departure point for inter-disciplinary debate.

when I was buoyant

The subjects in Josh Wodak‘s series of futurist portraits ‘when I was buoyant’, confront us with the dual realities of climate change and human nature. Posing in position of the famous ‘hockey stick’ graph, of Al Gore fame, their arms become the axis for plotting sea level rise which stretches 1,000 years into the past to a moment when, as Wodak point out, King Canute defiantly and eventually dejectedly faced the rising tide. The portraits offer up the space between the present moment and the fated year 2028 (when global temperatures are expected to rise 2 degrees), eerily questioning our ability to stay afloat.

In the Balance: Art for a Changing World

In the Balance: Art for a Changing World was an environmental art exhibition held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney from August to October 2010. Featuring over 100 works by 30 artists, the show charted the history of engagement of the arts in Australian environmental activism as well as showcasing international and contemporary artists addressing a range of issues from waste, renewable energy, climate change denial, uranium mining and the ethics of food.

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.