DATA: Information output by a sensing device or organ that includes both useful and irrelevant or redundant information and must be processed to be meaningful. Ref. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/data
In science, as in much of art, human knowledge is achieved by means of representation. Ref. Marx W. Wartofsky. 1979 Models: Representation and the Scientific Understanding
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Living Data is a research program to visualise evolving understandings of the global system. Animated linesof human scale are made to reflect shared knowledge. A choreography of primal forms is used to combine stories, hypotheses, data and iconography. Contributorsare scientists and artists who share ways of understanding impacts of climate on people and the environment.
Living Data builds on the Antarctic Animationproject. The research is practice-based. This means that art is made and presented, and words written to explain its contribution to understanding. A Blog is maintained to document methods used. On-line peer reviews and comments ensure ethical use of shared material and enable impacts of the work to be assessed. This practice exemplifies the shift towards collective knowledge production that is essential to advance understanding of climate change. Core scientific data come from the Climate Change Cluster,University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and the Australian Antarctic Division(AAD).
Iterations of the visualisation are presented in different contexts to new audiences. Recent validation of its accuracy and capacity to communicate is its selection by scientist Tony Pressfor presentation to policy makers at the 2012 Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting.
Living Data links with Lynchpin - the Ocean Projectwhich coordinator Sue Anderson explains has been developed "to support research into the significance of the oceans to life on the planet and to encourage arts/ocean science conversations and collaborations that bring these stories to the wider community in new ways". The scholarship program is endorsed by the University of Tasmania's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) and partnered by the Bookend Trust.
Dr Lisa Roberts
Living Data project leader and website author
Visiting Fellow, University of Technology, Sydney
Environmental Science / Design, Architecture & Built Environment
C3: Climate, Collaboration, Connectivity
This project has created synergy around communicating impacts of climate on humans and the natural world. Like an organism, the idea has grown and metamorphosed, capturing people's attention, understanding, humour and creativity.
What are you passionate about?
Dr Martina Doblin,Senior Research Fellow
Climate Change Cluster (C3)
Faculty of Science
University of Technology, Sydney
For the message about climate change to be received and understood it needs to arrive in as many different forms as possible. Science, yes. But also climate change as a technological advance; a business opportunity; an economic reformation. Artists need to be recruited to paint climate change; writers need to write about climate change; it needs to be shown through interpretative dance. The message needs to come from different voices from all aspects of our diverse society: sports stars; comedians; accountants; ethnic leaders; church leaders; doctors; lawyers; professional associations.
These messengers, like the scientists at the BoM and CSIRO, need to communicate on repeat. The same message, slightly new format, over and over.
Sara Phillips ABC Environment14 Mar 2012
Still from Oceanic Sydney performance
Presented in 2012 at Customs House, Sydney
Conveners: Caterina Mocciolaand Lisa Roberts
Screen design: Lawrence Wallen
Animation: Lisa Roberts
Dancers: Caterina Mocciolaand Ashley Macqueen
Music: VOA- Catriona Davies and Benn DeMole
Dancers' costumes: Shane Dunn. Musicians' costumes: Catriona Davies
Photo: Mike Day
This iteration of Oceanic Living Data combines the animation presented at the 2012 Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting with music by VOA (Benn DeMole & Catriona Davies). Original music was composed by VOA for Oceanic Sydneyand performed with dancers Caterina Mocciola & Ashley Macqueen. The title reflects the idea that we affect change according to how we relate to other living things. The music embodies sensory responses of two musicians to the animation, and to the knowledge expressed by scientist Steve Nicolthat "krill swarms must sound like billions of small mandibles breaking small pieces of glass - diatom shells are made up of silica". (In Email conversation with Lisa Roberts, Tue, 18 Sep 2012)