Environment 2.0 explored how the internet and locative technologies can enable citizens to generate novel datasets on local environment and climate transform people’s relationship to the environment. During the festival, participatory mass observation prototypes were developed and tested with the Met Office, OPAL and Natural History Museum.

Initiated in 2006, Environment 2.0 explored contributions to the sustainability of the way we live our lives. It involved participatory art and design projects that collaboratively produced and made sense of information about natural, built and social environments. We envisioned an exploration of how locative art can develop “new senses” and share discoveries with neighbors and people around the globe to become a part of a worldwide network of “one billion eyes.”

Attendees took part in a series of outdoors events that aided new avenues of discovery into the urban climate and wildlife of Manchester, with games and experiences enabling the citizens of Manchester to become a part of a world-wide network of ‘one billion eyes.’

Highlights from this festival included Climate Bubbles, a playful, participatory project in which Bubble Blowing Games enable people across the city of Manchester to map air flow and the urban climate. By sharing the results online, Climate Bubbles enabled the Met Office to get a snapshot of the Urban Heat Island phenomenon. Biotagging sent a ‘Manchester Rover’ around the streets of the city in a participatory project to discover and map the city’s urban wildlife in new ways.

The Environment 2.0 exhibition featured new and existing work from Dave Griffiths, Usman Haque, Amy Balkin, Jon Cohrs, HeHe, groWorld, Natural Fuse, Reading the IPCC, Urban Prospecting, and Nuage Vert (Green Cloud). Haque’s Natural Fuse consisted of a circuit in which the elements were a fuse, a plant and a power socket. The amount of electricity available to the appliance through the socket is only that which can be offset by the plant’s carbon-sequester capabilities.