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Eco-media: art informed by developments in ecology, media technology and environmental science

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In the twenty-first century, there has been a resurgence of ecologically conscious art among artists using new technologies. Like Eco-art, this recent movement, which might be called Eco-media, is interdisciplinary. Eco-media is heavily influenced by developments in environmental science, in particular developments in remote imaging and other kinds of remote Earth sensing (for example, the widespread use of satellite imaging and GPS) and developments in computer modelling (for example, detailed global models of climate that not only model the physics of the Earth and solar system, but also explore the chemistry and biology of the Earth).

This article will discuss developments in media art related to the computerized interpretation of complex data sets describing and modelling the natural world. It will explore work that has historically straddled artistic and scientific development, specifically Marey's work in the nineteenth century in photography and motion pictures and give examples of artists who are working in the area in-between art and science today. It will also discuss connections between this work and the historical Romantic sublime and the political dimension of this work as advocating for the preservation of the natural world, and give examples of some of the author's artworks in this area.
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Keywords: climate; geography; locative media; meteorology; sonification; visualization

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Hunter College.

Publication date: 2007-09-18

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  • Technoetic Arts focuses upon the juncture between art, technology and the mind. Divisions between academic areas of study, once rigidly fixed, are gradually dissolving due to developments in science and cultural practice. This fusion has had a dramatic effect upon the scope of various disciplines. In particular, the profile of art has radically evolved in our present technological culture
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