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Enviro-Envision Visualizing Climate Change through Art


From the beginning of the environmental movements of the 1960s, humans have sought to convey messages of the tragedy of human destruction of the earth. Since then, the world has shifted greatly, and the extent and effects of climate change have become more apparent, yet most humans still cannot fully comprehend the “hyperobject” of climate change. Art with its emotional qualities has been seen to illicit change and comprehension of complicated issues like climate change.

In this thesis it is argued that eco-art and new media art practices, together, can effectively communicate the effects of climate change. The ecologically themed new media art project Enviro-Envision, which is an interactive installation showing the effects of human impact and climate change on the past, present, and future of a Santa Cruz coastal redwood ecosystem, illustrates how innovative and vital such interdisciplinary projects can be in communicating climate change. The digital, interactive, and figurative data visualization approaches are compared in context with other contemporary projects and their strategies for the creation of a work with a climate change theme.

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