How do you engage the public with the complex issue of climate change, a topic with so many factors, effects, claims and counter-claims?
Cold, hard data can be a difficult thing to grasp but, combined with art and visual practice, can spark intrigue and invite important conversations.
Here and Now is a digital pilot exploring this complex challenge and presenting climate change as a concern for ‘here’ and ‘now’. In the work, artefacts from the museum and beyond are turned into 3D digital scans using photogrammetry. Each scan is then combined with a relevant dataset — a walrus tusk carved by Inuits is paired with data showing minimum Arctic sea ice extent from 1979-2017, an auroch skull (a now-extinct cattle animal) is coupled with data capturing global agricultural land use.
In the artwork, the visibility of each 3D model changes according to the particular set of data. Each scanned object also has its own narrated soundtrack in which a museum keeper or subject expert recounts the object’s story and what it can tell us about environmental change.