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?”
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.
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, 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.
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
Rekindling venus is an augmented reality project that uses digital platforms – the web, the smart phone – to connect us to the world’s coral reefs and their plight in a changing climate, drawing on real-time data, video and imagery. It is the work of Australian installation artist Lynette Walworth, who has collaborated with marine biologists, climate change modellers, underwater cinematographers and meteorologists, to bring focus to the complexity of coral ecosystems as they attempt to deal with increasing environmental stresses. The work will have a second phase in 2012 to show at planetariums around the world.
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.
The Silent Evolution
The Silent Evolution is a permanent underwater installation of 400 life-size sculptures off the coast of Cancun, Mexico. Artist Jason de Caires Taylor‘s work is both functional and poetic – the sculptures, taken from casts of people of all walks of life, also function as artificial reefs thereby contributing to the restoration of the environment. With reef systems set to disappear with the advent of climate change, these works present an optimistic and thoughtful response. Visitors to the installation can swim between the sculptures and experience the unique play of light and perspective that come from an underwater setting. Over time the work will change with the ocean environment in a silent evolution of materials responding to natural forces.
Michael Pinsky transformed Belgium’s four largest wind turbines into an ecological monitor or meter displaying the energy and water consumption and noise and waste generation of a night-time festival. These were indicated by the movement of rings of light up and down the turbines communicating the ecological pulse of the festival to the surrounding region.
Natural Fuse is city-wide network of units each consisting of a plant, an electrical device (a lamp or radio), a plug, a fuse and water bottles. Designed by artist Usman Haque, the self-sustinaning network of units acts as a very tangible and didactic means for exploring our impact on the global environment in a local way. The units, given to individual householders, are are connected to each other via sensors and a web-based platform. The plants’ individual and collective survival depends on the actions of the set of owners in the way they use the electrical devices that are connected to them. A little like a carbon-trading scheme in reverse, the ability of the network of plants to store carbon is the limiting factor on the extent to which the energy consuming devices, for example, can be switched on. Interestingly, users can also opt to be selfish by continuing to use the device beyond the carrying capacity of the system. If they do so, however, they will kill someone else’s plant. An intricate lesson in science and morality, Usman’s work is still actively employed by a few selfless survivors in New York, USA, San Sebastien, Spain and Sydney, Australia.