Living Data

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

Living Data



Living Data: Animating change

This work combines the animation presented at the 2012 Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting with original music composed by VOA (Benn DeMole & Catriona Davies) for Oceanic Sydney,a Living Data performance installation at Customs House, Sydney, with dancers Caterina Mocciola & Ashley Macqueen.

Key data and iconography come from the University of Technology (UTS), the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) and visual and performing artists around the world. I wrote the storywith krill biologist Steve Nicoland co-coordinator of Lynchpin, the Ocean Project, Sue Anderson.

Lisa Roberts


Sex in the sea    Drawing, dance and animation tell a story shared by many scientists and artists.

Animation still
Art: Lisa Roberts
Data: Martina Doblin
Dancer: Caterina Mocciola

Sex in the sea is the latest iteration of an animation that evolves, like a scientific model, to reflect growing knowledge of our changing environment. The animation evolves by combining stories, hypotheses, data and iconography of many scientists and artists. This iteration features sexual behaviours of marine plants and animals. The title comes from William Gladstone,Head of the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), who regularly gives a public lecture of that name. Sex in the sea is part of an installation designed for the UTS science building,The Museand the ABC Studios Foyer, for Sydney's 2013 Ultimo Science Festival program.

The animation builds on my PhD research, Antarctic Animation: Gestures and lines describe a changing environment,completed in 2010 at the University of New South Wales. The research resulted in the development of a lexicon of primal gestural forms that work in animations to combine scientific data and subjective responses. Recognition of these primal forms (as body knowledge) is found to add a dimension of meaning to scientific information that is an essential component of accurate communication.

Lisa Roberts


Lisa Roberts
Merindah Funnell (Neptune's necklace)

Stephanie Cooper (oboe)
Jack Colwell (percussion)
Fabio Muccini(guitar)
Rupert Summerson(shakuhachi)


So Kawaguchi(Antarctic krill)
Jaime Gomez-Gutierrez(Antarctic krill)
Steve Nicol(Antarctic krill)
Uwe Kils(Antarctic krill)

McMurdo Dry Valleys
Long-Term Ecological Research (diatoms)
United States Geological Survey (Antarctic sea ice cycle)
John Church et al. (sea levels rising graph)

Hormosira banksii
Martina Doblin(Neptune's necklace)
Climate Change Cluster (C3)
University of Technology, Sydney

Nicholas Kiraly(air sacs in lungs)


Kim Holten (connecting spiral)
Rena Czaplinska(unravelling spiral)


Helen Clarke-Lapin
Belinda Cussens
Rena Czaplinska(inward spiral)
Mike Green
Ashley Macqueen(shadow dance)
Mircella Havier(water energy)
Catherine Magill(human hands create)
Caterina Mocciola(Oceanic response)
Lisa Roberts(cold bottom water circulation)

Executive Production:
Ken Wilson