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Dan Hett: Here and Now

We are changing our world, our world is changing us

Here and Now is a digital artwork combining 3D models of museum, and other, artefacts with data about our environment to tell stories of how the world is changing. The work was originally displayed as a large-scale installation at the Great North Museum: Hancock during Get North 2018.

Artist: Dan Hett

Date: August 2018
Medium: Data visualisation
A part of: Fault Lines

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.

Here and Now was displayed as a large-scale projection at Great Museum North: Hancock over three days during the Great Exhibition of the North  2018. The work was launched as a prototype, inviting visitors to give feedback that will shape future iterations.

You can also experience an online version of Here and Now.

Here and Now is a collaboration between FAULT LINES artist Dan Hett, Open Lab and the School of Engineering at Newcastle University, the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at Manchester University and Newcastle University, FutureEverything, and the Great North Museum: Hancock.

The artwork was devised and built by Dan Hett, with content and additional design by Simon Bowen, and additional coding by Martin O’Leary.

For more info, visit  or explore the objects and datasets featured in the artwork.