[ISEA2018] Artist Statement: Cy Keener — Agulhas Drifter

Artist Statement

Art, Science & Us sub-programme


The Agulhas Drifter project will launch an artist-created data collecting ocean buoy in the Agulhas current off the coast of Durban, and install an immersive light and sound installation that will respond to satellite transmitted buoy data in real time. The Agulhas current, off the east coast of South Africa, is one of the few areas where surface currents transport towards the Antarctic. It is here that oceanographers have observed the unique phenomenon known as Agulhas current rings. The data buoy will utilize an IMU to capture pitch, roll and vertical acceleration from waves, a thermistor to pick up sea surface temperature, and GPS to track currents. The gallery installation will enact data sets using stepper motors and kinetic sculpture to project a shifting horizon line of laser light based on real time ocean conditions. Public display of the piece will enable local Durban residents to virtually connect with constantly shifting ocean conditions in an immersive way.

  • Cy Keener (USA) is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture and Emerging Technology at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA. His work as an artist involves designing and deploying environmental sensors, and working with the data they collect to create two- and three-dimensional representations of environmental phenomena. Cy is not a scientist, but collaborates with scientists and engineers on technology, in the field, and in through public advocacy. Cy has completed commissioned installations at Stanford University, Suyama Space in Seattle, the Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at the University of Texas, El Paso and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.    cykeener.com