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Artist's Response: How will Copepods Cope?

Utilising game development tools within Unreal Engine, plus the Kinect for Xbox Windows adapter kit, an interactive game space was prototyped, that mimicked a hypothetical situation where an underwater game player increased acidity in the water by 'generating' harmful C[O.sub.2].

When exhibition visitors moved their hands in front of the artwork, carbon dioxide 'clouded' the surrounding water, 'reducing' copepod and phytoplankton numbers and generally making the game environment look unliveable. Only when visitors did not engage with the work did pH levels 'normalise;' the water within the game environment cleared, and healthy copepods, phytoplankton and fish could be seen swimming within the projection.

The interactive character of the artwork conveyed a positive message, for "pro-environmental behaviour", illustrating that human behaviour can help mediate or slow down the harmful effects of OA. (1) Gamification for environmental change is one way to encourage audiences in being actors for pro-environmental behaviour.

From the 2018 Art+Oceans project collaboration with Morgan Meyers, PhD candidate at the University of Otago's Department of Botany and Marine Science.

Martin Kean is a senior lecturer in design at the Otago Polytechnic

(1.) CP Stern, "Toward a Coherent Theory of Environmentally Significant Behavior," Journal of Social Issues, 56 (2000), 407-24.

Caption: Figure 1. Martin Kean, Acidic Oceans: How will Copepods Cope?, 2018, interactive screen-based artwork.

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Article Details
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Author:Kean, Martin
Publication:Junctures: The Journal for Thematic Dialogue
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Dec 1, 2018
Words:219
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