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

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.

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.

Doomed

Doomed, a video work by Australian artist, Tracey Moffatt, consists of a series of edited catastrophic moments spanning the last 50 or so years of cinema. This relentless experience of disaster becomes almost comic as we face up to our human fascination with the destructive forces of nature – including those of our own making. Doomed gives us pause to consider whether we somehow, subconsciously desire this end and whether such warnings will have the ability to turn us away from our doomed path.

Beat Your Mouse Movement

The Beat Your Mouse Movement is a project by Kitchen Budapest to encourage people to walk farther in a day than the distance travelled by their computer mouse. Believe it or not, after 8 hours in front of a PC, the small movements of a mouse add up! Through an application, called Mousey, that tabulates the distance travelled by the mouse, the user is challenged to enter in distanced walked through an i-Phone ap, or pedometer. Pachube’s online platform for data sharing makes all this data open source. A great message and means to get balance back into our lives, and combat unsustainable behaviour patterns.

Organograph

The Organographis the winning entry of San Jose city’s Climate Clock Initiative, which called for public art proposals to communicate and engage the public on climate change over a period of 100 years. An ambitious vision, the Organograph is a moving educational showcase that plants a path and garden depicting real-time concentrations of carbon in the atmosphere as well as average annual temperatures. Solar powered and standing at 5 stories when it is eventually built, the work has an associated education and communication strategy that ensures it will reach to many as a powerful communicator of otherwise intangible and invisible phenomena. The work of Geo Homsy, Chico MacMurtrie and Bill Washabaugh, the Organograph is an exemplar of inter-disciplinary collaboration.