Living Data

Living Data

Conversations/
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Conversations that led to Living Data began in Antarctica.

L-R: William Gladstone and Lisa Roberts at Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS), Feb 2016; Jason Benedek, William Gladstone and Lisa Roberts explore motion capture technology to describe sea grass movement through an avatar's dance. University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Photos: William Gladstone

 

Conversations that led to Living Data began in Antarctica where as veteran expeditioner Jack Ward explains,you can imagine yourself interacting with "a disembodied spirit of tremendous force".

Meeting Jack (in 2007) convinced me that more conversations are needed between scientists and artists for more people to respond to the changes happening in natural systems. Language was Jack's passion. He opened me up to the power in combining the languages used in the arts and the sciences to more deeply know our place as part of nature. Jack worked in Antarctica to help establish radio communications at Mawson station and after that was a senior librarian at the State Library in Victoria. He respected the distinction between the poetic ambiguity in the language of the arts and the necessarily unambiguous language that is the ideal in science. Jack's own poetic language brings to life what we know from science, and my own experience in Antarctica, of the force of a katabatic wind.

Conversations that began in the ice continue as scientists and artists explore places closer to home. Conversations take many forms and some appear on this website within 'Presentations', like the interactive sculpture (pictured top) by Leanne Thompson, and motion capture choreography (pictured above, that reflects ongoing conversations with William Gladstone and Jason Benedek.

Simon Pockley's conversations with Anthony Larkumsuggest that we may also have conversations with our selves, between our scientific and artistic natures that use completely different parts of our brain. Anthony reflects on the creative process in science, of developing a new hypothesis:

It's almost an inspirational process, where it comes out of left field. It's not a logical process at all... we're just at a stage at the moment where we're trying to understand how quantum physics contributes to photosynthesis. We don't know yet, the way it's going to come out, but it seems to be very exciting...

Anthony identifies Living Data as,

an interaction between art and science. It's re-interpreting that in a completely different way, and I think, quite possibly, it then re-introduces that into science. I think that's the exciting part of it, that interaction between these two what seem to be completely distant and almost antagonistic aspects of human nature.