Living Data

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned
that this program contains images and voices of deceased persons.

Living Data

Science Art & Talks

The experiential process of observation and reflection is key to art and science
and is an essential component in understanding interdependence
of all species and ecosystems, terrestrial and aquatic.
Paul Fletcher Animator

Science Art & Talks
Living Data Program for the 2013 Ultimo Science Festival, Sydney, September 12-21.


Ocean    Calligraphy by Vikki Quill for animation by Lisa Roberts
Oceanic connections embodied in an ancient Chinese gesture are combined with improvised dance in motion capture animation.


Ocean Ancient Chinese character by Vikki Quill. Chinese ink on paper


We use visual, gestural as well as spoken and written language to navigate our world.

Working with Lisa Roberts and Jason Benedek for the Living Data Project was a great opportunity to see the act of writing in ways I had previously only imagined. Through this collaboration of calligraphy, animation and motion capture technology, my gestured character for 'ocean' moves with the tides and resembles stars reflected on water. Seeing flowing line represented as dancing dots and writing merging with the natural elements, my mind is opened to a myriad of possibilities for further collaborations around our place on this planet.

Vikki Quill 2013


Oceanic reconnection 2013
Video, animation, dance: Lisa Roberts
Calligraphy: Vikki Quill
Motion capture: Jason Benedek
University of Technology, Sydney
Data: So Kawaguchi
Australian Antarctic Division krill nursery
Music: Robert Cuckson
Questzalcoatl for flute and violin (2004)
Exectutive production: Ken Wilson

The moon is new.
The tide is low.
Algae and other life forms
experience full sun heat.

Forms of plant and animal evolve.

The algae Hormosira Banksii(Neptune's necklace) is observed at Pearl Beach, NSW, on Friday 8 February 2013. I join a field trip with young scientists led by Jennifer Clarke, a PhD candidate from the Climate Change Cluster (C3), University of Technology (UTS). I observe and assist her and two young women measure the algae for its capacity to photosynthesise in increasingly variable temperatures. After working hard in the sun all day the women swim to cool down and relax. Seeing them frolic in the sea inspires this film that suggests our origins as creatures of the sea. Oceanic reconnection is one of a suite of films being made to reconnect us to Land and Ocean. I call the suite Light responses. Ongoing conversations and collaborations with Vikki Quill add depths of meaning to this work.

Lisa Roberts2013


Vikki Quill


I discovered an interest in exploring connections between language and movement over eight years practising calligraphy in Tokyo. With Kikkokai, the Oracle Bone Writing Association, I entered the world of the Post Neolithic and Bronze Age writing systems. Producing large works for exhibition, the whole body was engaged in the creation of the written word.

These days, in my role as language, literacy and numeracy specialist for an intellectual disability service, I am exploring the multitude of ways people use visual, gestural as well as spoken and written language to navigate their world. I am also studying adult education at UTS.

Vikki Quill 2013


The Sound Of The Bow 1991 by Vikki Quill. Chinese ink on paper


Notes for exhibition designers:

Euphausia superba (Antarctic krill), Living Data: Animating change, Life! Death and Oceanic reconnection will be screened as a sequence.