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disrupting currents





Disrupting Currents

Disrupting Currents is an interactive digital real‐time visualization artwork that is part of a three year SSHRC Research/Creation in the Fine Arts project entitled Catch + Release: Mapping Narratives of Geographic and Cultural Transition. Disrupting Currents, and the C+R project, which is in partnership with Parks Canada Gulf of Georgia Cannery Museum National Historic Site, focuses on the interrelationship of the marine environment and communities that once relied on fishing and fishing industries. We are is interested in how artwork as interactive and embodied experiences and public pedagogy, within contexts such as social history museums as informal‐ sites of learning, can bring awareness to social and marine environmental sustainability.

Disrupting Currents is based on numerical empirical data from sensor‐enabled marine observatories, situated in the ocean off British Columbia's west coast and in the Gulf of Georgia, that measure oxygen, salinity, temperature and current. It also integrates sound derived from underwater hydrophone sensors as an integral element. In this artwork, the scientific measurement data, as source information, is digitally and aesthetically visualized/ presented/interpreted using openframeworks to create custom‐built software to approximate/evoke movement of patterns of water currents referring to the ocean data to operate in a more poetic, sensuous, and aesthetically manipulated situation. Our intention is to engage viewers in considering such an inaccessible place as the depths of the ocean by virtually inserting their IR camera‐sensed and recorded presence as white silhouettes, into the "current". In this way the viewers, entering the space between a camera and the screen is enabled to metaphorically alter the visual composition of the "current", and in so doing, to suggest, that their "actions" have implications and an impact on the "flow" or "direction" of events/conditions of the ocean. Just as a rock in a river alters the water's course or pattern of flow, cameras will sense the proximity of viewers whose white silouettes will interrupt the "current" re‐directing, disrupting and moving it in new directions. Our artwork is intended to bring awareness to actual marine conditions that are in constant flux and to their uncertain future that needs our attention.

Disrupting Currents was realized with the assistance of Jay Pozo and Miles Thoroughgood.