From data physicalization to data experiences : combining art, science, technology, and community to move towards collective action on environmental challenges
Author(s)Perovich, Laura J.(Laura Jones)
Combining art, science, technology, and community to move towards collective action on environmental challenges
Program in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
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The environmental risks our society faces are becoming increasingly urgent and may have devastating implications both locally and globally. Over the past 40 years, environmental efforts have built understanding and have led to some significant changes. Yet, we have not taken enough action on many issues despite an abundance of data, policy proposals, and knowledge. Many fields have explored environmental issues over the decades, including work in human computer interaction and art. My research responds to some of the successes and critiques of these fields and others to investigate how and with whom we understand our local environmental problems. In particular, it explores collective environmental experiences through community based research processes that use art, technology and science to move towards environmental action in communities. I pursue a holistic approach that integrates emotional and aesthetic parameters and investigates opportunities for impact on water quality issues in New England. This dissertation includes the following community-based environmental projects: (1) SeeBoat : citizen science water quality tools for data collection and in situ display, (2) Data Lanterns : open data physicalizations of water quality in industrial rivers, (3) ArtBoat: installations for artistic collaboration in public spaces, and (4) Participatory Self-Portrait : gallery show to bring people together around the dissertation work. Each of these projects adds to an understanding of the local environmental and social system and suggests possible paths towards influencing the overall framework. I evaluate the work through qualitative methods in order to best capture the nuanced human experience of the events and the complexity of the systems that influence our environmental realities.
Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, September, 2020Cataloged from student-submitted PDF of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 325-352).
DepartmentProgram in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Program in Media Arts and Sciences