New Antarctic Animations



Animations arise from new conversations with scientists and other artists.

Phytoplankton dance 01 2014
Animation: Lisa Roberts
Data: University of Technology Sydney and the Australian Antarctic Division
Music: Matthew Dewey, excerpt from ex Oceanosymphony No.2, 2013
Courtesy Sue Anderson, Lynchpin - the Ocean project


The animation and the music signify our connection to the ocean that originates and sustains Life on earth. The ocean is changing. Our massive burning of fossil fuels is changing ocean chemistry and risking mass extinction of key species that sustain us.

Live phytoplankton are caught in water samples from Darling Harbour and examined under microscopes at the University of Technology, Sydney. Drawings are made from life as well as from looking at preserved specimens. Other species are recorded with scanning electron microscopes at the Australian Antarctic Division. The visual data are combined to show similarities in form between living things that you may find in a single drop of water in Sydney or Antarctica.

Setting the animation to an excerpt from the ex Oceano symphony adds depths of meaning impossible to fully express in words except to say that the musical rhythms inspire patterns in space and time that give a sense of human breath and gesture. The symphony and the animation are responses that artists have made to seeing living phytoplankton and to listening for many hours to scientists explain the vital roles these micro-organisms play in our lives: Phytoplankton are our genetic ancestors; collectively they create conditions that make life possible, produce the oxygen in every second breath we take, and work as a global photovoltaic system harvesting all the sunlight that casts through all the water surrounding planet Earth.



Your COMMENTS are welcome. Contact meto say what works (and what doesn't work) in the animations to connect you to Antarctica and to what Antarctica is telling us about climate change.