Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More GigaPan

I posted earlier about gigapans, and the video above is about there use in an education setting. If you explore their website you can find many other uses, apart from spending hours exploring a spice shop in Turkey, of gigapans in schools, universities and their use in environmental studies.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mobile Research Station - Simon Faithfull

Mobile Research Station no.1
In a wilderness at the heart of Berlin a strange apparition has landed. Mobile Research Station no.1 is a curious hybrid – half hi-tech Antarctic Research Station / half rusty-broken-dumpster. Using a standard building-waste container as its basis, the station nevertheless forms a luxurious designer-pod provided for an eccentric set of researchers. Rather than researching the frozen wastes of Antarctica or the moons of Saturn, the invited artist/researchers have begun their investigation into the surrounding wilderness and urban zones of uncertainty that still lie at the centre of Berlin. There initial findings and questions can be found in this blog as and when they happen.

Simon Faithfull's Mobile Research Station

Looking to the Future

An issue with many community based projects is accessing equipment, in this case there are many tools that would be useful to help develop the ideas, computers, science equipment, sound recording and many other useful items. These are available but often tied to a particular building and accessing them can be time consuming and bureaucratic, what we need is a mobile arts lab. Rather than each community project having to find equipment or fund raise to by it, why not just call the mobile arts lab. So as side project I am going to look into the possibilities of how this could be set up and funded , as well as post examples of others looking into similar solutions.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mapping Dargaville High School

These images are from students work developed as part of Artists in Schools Programme a few years ago. They are some of the ways we looked at exploring the School through colour and found letters.

Moss Maps - Nina Katchadourian

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Daniel Kish - No Sight, No Limits

A TEDx talk about research teaching blind people to see through echolocation techniques. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Project Overview

Below is a Prezi, which is a presentation programme. The Otari Prezi is to help see how the project could develop and allows bits to be added and changed as the project develops.
You can use the arrow buttons on your keyboard to advance through the presentation or just click and zoom in to different bits.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Citizen Science

Citizen Science is a term used to describe people, non scientists or amateurs, involved in scientific study or research. This could be by participating in a bioblitz or bird counts and becoming more common using mobile apps to monitor everything from biodiversity to water quality. One example of a mobile app is Project Noah, using the app is straight forward and free, it allows you to take photographers and upload them to their site, you can tag the photo with information and where it was taken, so contributing to a worldwide project looking at biodiversity.
Also if you are unsure of the name of the animal or plant you have snapped you can add to a list for help identifying what species it is. 
You can join missions or start your own, for example find as many plants with red flowers, you can collect badges and many other things. 


Gigapans are a series of photographs stitched together, to for a single image, which allow the viewer to explore the image in great detail. If you go to the Gigapan site, you can see and explore many examples. There is a huge potential to use the images for studying an area in detail and provide opportunities for people to explore somewhere from their computer. Imagine a series of gigapans of Otari and how people could use them?

Tim Knowles - Artist

Tim Knowles is a UK based artist who has done a number of projects using aspects of the natural world. The image below is from one where he has attached pens to a willow tree, which in turn makes the artwork.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Exploring the world through sound

Acoustic Ecology is the study of the relationship between living things and the environment through sound. In a an area such as Otari Reserve, with lots of trees and plants, we can often hear birds and insects but don't see them. Making field recordings can allow us to identify bird and insects from their calls, even if we cannot see them. As a means to study an areas biodiversity, sound is another useful tool and can provide another way to experience an environment.
The Macaulay Library has huge collection of animal sounds and videos from around the world and be warned you can spend hours listening to various animal sounds and forget about the work you are supposed to be doing.
Here in New Zealand a few years ago there was a competition run by DoC to remix bird calls and you can listen to the results here.
There are many other websites and resources on the web to search for sound recordings, as well as many artists who have used sound in their work and I will post some examples to get a flavor of the different ways they have used sound.

Sound Map is site to upload sound recordings and you can tag your recordings to a map to show where they were recorded. I made an unedited recording of a walk around Otari in the summer and it includes, circads, bird song, people, traffic and me crunching along the gravel paths. Click on the red marker below and the click the play button and you can hear the recording. I plan to do some more recordings when the weather permits.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Artists - Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen was a French composer and keen ornithologist, someone who studies birds. Bird calls were a fascination for him and he included them in a number of his works. Though he never came to New Zealand he did include, the calls of the bellbird and tui in one of his works.

Artists - Nina Katchadourian

As well as putting information about the Otari project I want to build a resource of artists and projects, which deal with the natural world. Starting with Nina Katchadourian, an American artist who has dealt with the natural world in many of her projects. More information is available from her website, which is worth looking at for the many other projects she has done, and a video of one work called 'Natural Car Alarms'. 

Images of Otari Wilton's Bush

These are a selection of images from Otari showing a small selection of the many plants and trees found there. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Welcome - Tēnā koutou

This blog is about the development of creative ideas for Otari - Wilton's Bush Reserve in Wellington, New Zealand. The project is at an early stage and I am just putting together ideas and information about the possibilities of developing creative ideas, how they maybe implemented and funded.
I will add information and ideas as they develop, along with other creative projects and work which can provide inspiration and show the many different approaches that could be taken. Please feel free to contact me if you want more information, have any ideas or want to be involved.
The title of the blog is a translation of the Maori work Otari, meaning place of snares, which refers to the past use of the area as a rich and abundant source for catching birds.