[ISEA2020] Paper:Aleksandra Dulic & Miles Thorogood — WaterWays Visualization Computational Reflexivity for Sustainability Action


Keywords: 3D Visualizations, Researchcreation,Western and Indigenous worldviews, humanwater relationships, experiential learning

We discuss Water Ways project that uses a research creation approach to bridge scientific, Indigenous, artistic, and humanistic perspectives within media rich datadriven visualizations.
The Water Ways demonstrates how the research-creation method enables articulation and exploration of the nature of humanwater relationships in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. The resulting visualizations employ use of interactive media technologies and software design to form a platform for dialogue across communitybased, poetic and scientific water knowledges. The project synthesizes important water knowledge and research in order to catalyze greater ecological awareness and promote more sustainable water use practices among Okanagan residents. The work explores the multiple meanings that water holds for the many communities, and interest groups in the valley, including Indigenous Okanagan (Syilx) communities, environmentalists, artists, agriculturalists, foresters and tourists. By weaving together multiple community stories, diverse water knowledge, and artistic expressions, the visualizations provide a setting for our complex local understanding of water. Acknowledging the sustainable practices of the Okanagan people on this land, we engage in a design methodology for creating an experiential learning environment that aligns with the holistic approach evident in Indigenous ways of regenerating and developing important communal practices. This methodology tightly integrates many ways of knowing through story, song and creative expression.

  • Aleksandra Dulic (Associate Professor, Department of Creative Studies, The University of British Columbia, Canada) is an artist-scholar with expertise in interactive art, climate change communication, and media for social change. She is the Director of the Centre for Culture and Technology (CCT) and leads an interdisciplinary research team that engages multiple forms of art, media and information technologies as vehicles for the expression of community, culture, and identity. Dulic’s research is centered on the creation of interactive systems and experiences that bring local, cultural and communal resources to the forefront. One thread of this work involves the development of learning context and experiences using game play as a device for sustainability awareness grounded in local ecology. Another thread is the research in interactive installation with multi-channel audio-visual displays that enable the creation of complex community images. These threads of research intersect in the idea of interactive art as a place for community reflection. Dulic has managed a number of interdisciplinary research projects and secured Canadian federal and provincial funding for these projects. She has created a number of large-scale dynamic environments and multimedia project as well as published insights that arise from these research-creation projects.
  • Miles Thorogood is an artist/engineer at the University of British Columbia (CA) with research centered around the practice and theory in media arts for developing interactive experiences. He engages with quantitative and qualitative methods toward cutting edge research in the development of computational systems for community-engaged artistic creation. Miles’ research contributions have produced new knowledge in the fields of soundscape studies, affective computing, and cognitive science focusing on sound design practice. This research seeks to identify formal models of creativity as it is by investigating aspects of human perception and design process in order to encode creative structures for computer assisted technologies in art making environments. Building on this research, he has leveraged methods to multimedia systems that combine audio, video, and electronics that explore the human and community experience. As a service from the output of this research, the work has been featured as interactive museum exhibits, installations, and performances. The interactive installation and performance works frame the research in creative practice that brings meaningful contexts of experience and environment to the foreground using algorithmic processes combining art-making, audio and visual media, databases, artificial intelligence, and physical and network computing. milesthorogood.com