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

Buried Light

Buried light was a collaborative installation, by artist-designers Rachel Wingfield, Hiaz Gimachi and Greta Corke, at the V&A museum in London using dynamic wallpaper to represent domestic energy consumption in Britain. An immersive experience, participants could turn appliances on and off, which in turn affected the patterns and colour of the wallpaper.

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.

Cape Farewell Touring Exhibition

From the Cape Farewell expeditions comes the touring exhibition in London, Liverpool, Hamburg, Madrid, Tokyo in 2006, 2007, 2008 and now Cranbrook, USA in 2010.

Natural Fuse

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.

COAL

COAL is a Paris-based organisation that stands for ‘coalition pour l’art et le développement durable’, translated as the coalition for art and sustainable development. It brings together professionals in contemporary art with environmental and research professionals. They award an annual prize of 10,000 euros to a contemporary artist proposing an environmentally themed work. They also commission exhibitions, events and generate publications.