Scientific modelling & Scales of interest

Scientist Andrew Constable tells me it is easy to explain what a scientific model is. I make the animation Scientific modelling to visualise his explanation. The animation is also a start on answering his question, “How can a scientific model be made attractive to people through art?” Months after our conversation I am in Wollemi National Park (NSW) drawing with my friend Christine McMillan. The day is hot. I spontaneously remove my clothes beside an enormous split rock and ask Christine to record me walking through it.  Only weeks later does a start to an answer to Andrew’s question come to mind. It begins as a joke, a play on words. I will be the model! Now I choreograph with my own human form within a tracing I had already made of the circumpolar current. I now see my body as one of many entities that interact to form a whole dynamic system. I ask myself “How can a whole evolving system be modelled?” I read Jonathan Livingston Seagull and think it’s worth a try. I fly!

The animation becomes a part of the video Scales of interest in which scientist Andrew Constable is heard speaking with me further. Dancers Helen Clark Lapin, Mike Green, Catherine Magill and Caterina Mocciola move in response to Mary E. White’s Big Picture Story. Music is improvised by Sophie Green.

As in a dream, various perspectives are simultaneously embodied in space and time.



Bach, R. (1970) Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
Bosnack, R. (2007) Embodiment: Creative Imagination in medicine, art, and travel. Routledge.
Recorded interview with Andrew Constable, Australian Antarctic Division, Tasmania, 2011.

About Lisa Roberts

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One Response to Scientific modelling & Scales of interest

  1. Jim Franklin says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I enjoyed your performance of “Living Data” last night at Rozelle.

    Most of projected images in that performance had black borders that blended very well onto the wall and gave a feeling of limitless space. However, a few images were basically white all over and the sharp rectangular boundaries disrupted the illusion. I suggest either deleting those images or at least fading gently to black at the edges.

    Andrew Constable’s comments on your website add a lot to the images. Without them there is no obvious link to climate change.