Hands on ocean science for girls in Texas
CRIOS members Nora Loose, Helen Pillar and An T. Nguyen, and Tim Smith participated in 2020’s UT Girl Day, which took place on February 22. The group showed 500 elementary and middle school kids and their parents how to conduct simple yet powerful experiments to understand the role of sea ice and glacial melts in the changing Arctic climate and explore observational and modeling tools fundamental to many CRIOS research projects.
Permanent Installation of works by artists Lize Mogel (US) and Olaf Otto Becker (GER)
Following the exhibition Exploring the Arctic Ocean, two of the participating artists, American conceptual artist Lize Mogel and German photographer Olaf Otto Becker loaned their works to the Oden Institute. Four photographs from Becker’s photographic series Broken Line and a map showing the Arctic Ocean, a center piece of Mogel’s multimedia installation Area of Detail, are on display on the 4th floor of the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Building.
For his series Broken Line, Olaf Otto Becker photographed the landscape along the coastline of Greenland while traveling thousands of miles in a Zodiac raft. The slow pace of his journey and laborious process of producing his images with a large-format camera reverberate in Becker’s carefully composed photographs. The four photographs on view at the Oden Institute are a small selection from Broken Line that show distinct features of the Arctic Ocean and its shore.
Lize Mogel is a counter-cartographer: As part of a collective effort working toward social change, Mogel uses cartographic conventions — including data, images, and language — to analyze and dissect power dynamics. In 2008, Mogel conceived Area of Detail, a project that scrutinizes the United Nations’ role as a regulatory body in the Arctic and examines the metaphorical meanings of its emblem, a world map as seen from its northernmost point.
Programs and Events, UT Campus, Sept - Dec 2018
The exhibition Exploring the Arctic Ocean was accompanied by an interdisciplinary series of programs, which included artist’s talks, lectures, gallery tours, studio visits, and a panel discussion. All events were organized as cross-departmental collaborations and were hosted by the Moody College of Communication, the Department of Art and Art History, the Texas Advanced Computing Center, the Jackson School of Geosciences, the Center for Space Research, the Department of Geography and the Environment, and the Harry Ransom Center. In addition, the Visual Arts Center offered educational programs geared towards visitor groups of all ages.
Visual Arts Center, UT Austin, Sept - Dec 2018
In tandem with their research project “Arctic System Change Through Synthesis of Hydrographic and Sea Ice Observations from the Early 21st Century,” funded by the National Science Foundation and led by An T. Nguyen and Patrick Heimbach, the CRIOS group developed the exhibition Exploring the Arctic Ocean. This multimedia exhibition, on display at UT’s Visual Art Center from September 21 to December 7 2018, brought together eight projects by an international roster of conceptual artists, documentary photographers, designers, and cultural organizers, who share a deep interest in the Arctic.
The video installations, photographic series, and data visualizations on display dealt with the inherent dynamics of the Arctic Ocean’s unique but changing environment, its increasingly important geopolitical role, and its many cultural meanings. The strategies and goals that constituted the works in the exhibition represented a diverse spectrum: Some works exposed scientiﬁc practices and data collection, making them visible and available for scrutiny; others adapted scientiﬁc methods, such as data visualization, as aesthetic practices to challenge traditional modes of representation. In presenting these different projects side by side, Exploring the Arctic Ocean sought to broaden the perspective of the Arctic Ocean and to emphasize its global importance.
The exhibition was curated by Ulrike Heine a visual studies scholar and independent curator with focus on the intersection of contemporary art, scientific knowledge production, and ecological concerns.
In collaboration with visualization specialist Greg Foss from the Visualization Lab of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin, An T. Nguyen and Patrick Heimbach produced the animated data visualization “Arctic Atlantification,“ which introduces CRIOS research in an intriguing manner. The animation is a sequence of graphic renderings of a computer simulation, which shows the water temperatures of the Arctic Ocean at a given time. The color of each pixel reﬂects a temperature value deﬁned in a legend. By putting the images into a time sequence, the evolution of temperatures over time becomes visible.
Presented as a large video projection and accompanied by an accessible video-audio narrative produced by the CRIOS group, the visualization became the core element of the exhibition Exploring the Arctic Ocean on view at the Visual Arts Center from September through December 2018. “Arctic Atlantification” also won the “SC18 Scientific Visualization and Data Analytics Award” at the annual Supercomputing Conference in 2018.
“Award-winning visualization dives into the Arctic Ocean”, article and podcast produced by TACC
“Navigating the New Arctic,” presentation by Dr. Frances A. Cordova, Director, National Science Foundation, on the occasion of SXSW 2019