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Projection of light streaming down the side of a building

Light + Environmental Sustainability


Can the visualization of data be photographic?

Artist Andrea Polli discusses the Partical Falls and Energy Flow projects.

Andrea Polli’s practice empowers citizens to effect positive local change by harnessing the photographically inspired tools used in environmental data visualization. Using something as basic as a camera phone, she invites us all to investigate the impact of our current energy choices on the environment.

Polli launched her project at the museum in November 2016 with an The Making of Energy Flow on the Rachel Carson Bridge (external link) that presented and contextualized her interdisciplinary practice. In January 2017, Polli led Making the Invisible Visible, An Environmental Challenge, a series of workshops, examining how we sense and experience environmental data. Participants analyzed data about light and air using tools such as the sensors on smartphones and considered how the visualization of data could be used to inspire action on pressing environmental concerns. Polli will document these workshops, as well as past and current public art projects such as Particle Falls and Energy Flow, in an artist book launching in December 2017.

Polli’s practice serves as an inspiration for how we as citizens might use data to creatively transform our communities and asks us to consider the ways in which the visualization of environmental data can be photographic.