Living Data

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

Living Data

Light responses



Oceanic reconnection 2013
Dance/animation/video: Lisa Roberts
Music: Questzalcoatl for flute and violin (2004)
by Robert Cuckson
Calligraphic gesture: Vikki Quill
Motion capture: Jason Benedek
University of Technology, Sydney
Data: Australian Antarctic Division krill nursery
Exectutive production: Ken Wilson

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

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 scientists and other artists add depths of meaning to this work.

Lisa Roberts2013


My project involves how climate change will effect the resilience of an intertidal macroalgae (or seaweed) to increasing temperatures. This particular seaweed is a major habitat former which creates ecosystems for many intertidal organisms (much like coral reefs and rainforests) and is found in most temperate intertidal platforms. I am interested in how the underlying genetics and gene flow as well as physiology of this seaweed will allow it to persist in warming climates. One part of my project involves looking at temperatures within the seaweed (tissue temperature) as well as air temperatures within its natural habitat to determine whether different morphs (ecotypes) of the seaweed conger advantages to relieve temperature and desiccation stress.

Jennifer Clarke2013



Cardboard salute 2010
Dance/video Lizzie Thomson
A short work performed at Lake George, NSW,
in response to the idea of Detritus.


Basketball 2010
Dance/video Lizzie Thomson with Chris Lam
A project celebrating diverse movement practices
in residence at ACO-Air Hong Kong is supported
by the Australia-China Council.



There's a Bright Golden Haze on the Meadow, Campbelltown Arts Centre Dance Residency 2010, a solo project by Lizzie Thomson inspired by amateur musical theatre and intent on inventing a Do-It-Yourself Classic.
Images: Heidrun Lohr, courtesy of Campbelltown Arts Centre:




It was photosynthesis, first by some Bacteria, then by Algal cells with green pigment (Protists) in the sea, and much later by Plants on land, that created an oxygenated atmosphere... Earth is the GREEN PLANET where the energy for nearly all Life depends on Photosynthesis.

Big Picture Story, Mary E. White, 2012