Living Data Installation 01: An animated model of the global ecosystem:
A floating screen with satellite displays
A floating screen is illuminated by animations that combine stories, data and iconography shared by scientists and other artists since 2003. Like a scientific model, the installation has evolved to reflect current knowledge. The current story is that a healthy environment maintains homeostasis (balance) between its parts and that human actions are tipping the natural balance. Recent data are graphs that show sea levels rising and diagrams that show changing patterns of growth in some plants and animals. Iconography are circling, spiraling and crossing lines that dynamically connect parts to suggest the whole system. Unlike a scientific model, this model can be touched. You can move through it and feel part of it.
Satellite displays reflect different methods used by artists to advance knowledge of the effects of climate on humans and the environment:
Source (Sue Anderson)
Green Algae Happiness (Lisa Roberts)
Invisible forest (Andrea Juan)
Atmospheric chronicle (Lorraine Beaulieu)
Symbiogenesis (Evelin Kolijn)
The Awareness of Atlas (Philippe Boissonnet) and Mr Nasty (Justin James Clayden)
Dissolve (Melissa Smith)
Collertoral Atmospherics (Peter Charuk)
The floating screen is made with strong silk mesh that has trawled the Southern Ocean in a Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR). The mesh was supplied by Australian Antarctic Division scientist Graham Hosie. Layers of mesh are spaced to give depth to animated lines that describe systems that interact to shape our world: algae, diatoms, krill, pteropods, seals, humans, sea ice, bottom water circulation, and the circumpolar current that impacts on all oceans.
Circling, spiraling and crossing lines are used by scientists and artists to describe how natural systems work, and to express feelings of connection. The forms are primal and appeal to body memories of moving and drawing. Since ancient times these forms have been used to symbolize connection and growth, and to mark our ‘spot’ on earth.
Layers of mesh are hung to suggest the submerged body of an iceberg, a form that Freud regards as a symbol of an ‘oceanic’ unconscious mind. Like an iceberg, the marine ecosystem that sustains life on land is mostly unseen and unknown.