Living Data

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

Living Data

2017 Presentations

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Lens: Pooling knowledge from art and science, created by William Gladstone and Lisa Roberts (UTS, Living Data)


24 - 29 September 2017
Aboriginal and Western perspectives
an installation for the Australian Society of Limnology (ASL) Conference, University of Technology Sydney
Rainbow serpent image courtesy Aboriginal artist Marylin Torrend from Jubal bunjalung

The theme of this conference is New Science for a Changing World - how development, population growth, intensification of agriculture and climate change are affecting our waterways and wetlands as never before, and how our science is giving us more understanding to help us identify and mitigate impacts.

Australian Society of Limnology Conference website

Exhibits for the conference evolved from interactions between scholars from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), Eora Aboriginal College (Eora), Sydney, and beyond.







...the importance of knowledge, the importance of the spiritual connection that science underpins. And I don't say that lightly. Science does underpin our cultural values and our cultural connection. It should be applauded. It should be celebrated because it is the future.

Phil Duncan, Gomoroi man from Moree and Terri Hei hei
Aboriginal Executive of the Australian Society of Limnology [Australian Freshwater Sciences Society - AFSS], the peak scientific society for the study of the ecology and functioning of Australian inland waters.



Watch out: Data and spirit warning

Water spirit icon courtesy contemporary Aboriginal artist
Guindri (Paul Davis)

Amidst knowledge of identity and spirit,
natural patterns are threatened.

Door: A metaphor for moving between Aboriginal and Western world views


Collaborators come from Eora Aboriginal College, the University of Technology Sydney (Science), and beyond.

Today's plankton (painting): Susan Fenech, Simon Mitrovic (UTS)
Ancient ocean memories (shells): Jean Bartley (Eora)
Timeless sacred spring (painting): Raymond Finn (Eora)

Animations in order of appearance:
Antarctic sea ice breath (animated satellite data): Lisa Roberts (UTS/Eora)
Rainbow serpent (painting): Marilyn Torrrend (Eora)
Freshwater microbes (Flow cytometry data): Angus Rawle (UTS)
Bliss swim (motion tracing): Bliss Boaden, William Gladstone (UTS), Lisa Roberts
Water spirit (drawing): Guindri (Eora)
Song to my Ancestors (sound wave): Alison O'Carroll, Lisa Roberts
Beneath the surface (painting): Darren Charlwood (Eora)
Broulee catch (painting): Guindri
Spirit woman (painting): Sharon Smith (Eora)
Waterhole (painting): Nicole Padden (Eora)
Cray (drawing): Douglas Hippett (Eora)
Sun and lunar cycles (drawing): Shekara Hartnett (Eora)
Microbial lens (painting): Lisa Roberts
Three rivers - Water, Blood, Spirit (painting): Sharon Smith
Antarctic krill (painting): Lisa Roberts
Questions rather than answers (painting): Chico Monks (Eora)
Beware of Pedestrians (digital puppet): Lisa Roberts, Mike Lynch (UTS)
Oceanic calligraphy (gesture, motion capture): Vikki Quill, Jason Benedek (UTS)
Oceanic avatar (dance, story, motion capture): Lisa Roberts, William Gladstone, Jason Benedek (UTS)
Boil (animation), Maddison Gibbs (UTS/Eora)

Music: Song to my Ancestors: Alison O'Carroll London street: Lisa Roberts



Rearranging deckchairs

Microscopy courtesy UTS scientist
Sue Fenech

Responses to limnology: the science of biological, chemical
and physical change and transformation in fresh water

Lens: A metaphor for pooling knowledge gleaned from art and science
Created by William Gladstone and Lisa Roberts (UTS, Living Data)


University of Melbourne VCA School of Film & Television BFA Animators:

Gigi Hart Cyclical patterns

Seamus Triffit Naegleria fowleri (Brain-eating Amoeba)

Oliver Patterson Similarities between river systems and blood vessels

Willem Kingma Human dependence on rivers

Annalise Palenzuela A hand intercepts the flow of a river

Tristan Mulcahy The journey of rain

Hugh Mitchell Two Two Platypus

Samantha Kelly Flow

Nelson Dean Watercourse floods awareness

Briellen Ramsay Reflections on the water

Paul Fletcher & Anthony Lyons Diffraction and Diffusion

Paul Fletcher Liquid Connections

Daniela Acevedo Vera River contemplations


UTS collaborators:

Susan Fenech, Lisa Roberts, with musician Mic Conway et al. Rearranging the deckchairs

The LENS was first conceived by William Gladstone for pooling knowledge through the
art and science of seagrass.



Rearranging the deckchairs
Excerpt from the LENS
Video by Susan Fenech and Lisa Roberts with music
Thanks to Mic Conway and his National Junk Band.

A song by Mic Conway is animated with microsopy by Susan Fenech, digital code by Michael Lynch, digital puppetry by Lisa Roberts, motion capture by Jason Benedek, dance by Bliss Boaden, and cinematography by William Gladstone. This work is part of Living Data research hosted by the Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney: Track changes: What role does gesture play in growing and sharing knowledge?




University of Technology Sydney News: UTS Art and science environmental sustainability