Assistant Professor Carlos Castellanos of the DX Media program in the Kansas State University Art Department recently deployed a prototype for a “Floating Data Wetland” in Wuhan, China. Done in collaboration students and members of the local community ,this is a floating island housing sensors and lights, along with native plants and grasses. The system measures water quality and in turn changes the color of the lights (red = bad water quality, blue = good). In addition, anyone with an Internet connection or mobile device can receive real-time information from the floating wetland, as the data is shared openly online. The vision is for the project is to create a network of these data wetlands across the city, in its plentiful lakes and rivers. Participants could also register to receive updates on this data and identify stations near them in need of care, in essence “adopting” these wetland systems. The light and sound produced by the wetlands would serve as indicators of species activity, water quality and collective human interest in the environment. The floating wetlands themselves may also improve the overall water quality of the lake or river where they are deployed (as well as providing shade for the fish, which is typically beneficial).
Castellanos was in residency at the K11 art village, located in Wuhan, China as part of the K11 Art Foundation x FUSE ISEA2016HK Residency Program, an initiative formed by KAF and Videotage as part of the 22nd International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA2016HK). The residency offers a multi-disciplinary platform for artists to realize their ideas by creating media artworks from a wide spectrum of knowledge. In alignment with KAF’s mission, the program will drive and facilitate cultural exchange, creating a new platform for cross-border dialogue. Taking advantage of the abundance of lakes, rivers and wetlands in Wuhan, Castellanos’s residency’s project seeks to foster awareness and greater community agency and autonomy over issues of ecological stewardship and environmental health and resilience.
The International Symposium on Electronic Art was initiated in 1988 in order to support the founding and maintenance of an international network of organizations and individuals active in the field of the electronic arts. This internationally recognized electronic art event will be held in Hong Kong for the first time.