Arctic Eye

By The Artist 29/05/2016

Part film, part data visualisation the work is an exploration of climate change in the Arctic Circle. It depicts environmental data and responses from climate change opinion polls embedded into the Arctic landscape.


It reflects on the malleability of information; what we know and what we see, in contrast to our inaction. Our primordial brain and the process of sight served as inspiration for the writing of a parable style text that runs alongside the data in attempt to define a human identity for the Arctic. Globalisation has challenged traditional notions of identity and perhaps, in turn, has disrupted our abilities for empathy and added to the disassociation with current events. Anthropomorphising the Arctic is a way to encourage curiosity and consideration.


The data sets are sourced from opinion polls asking, ‘How much do you personally worry about global warming? Is global warming a threat in your lifetime? When will the effects of global warming happen?’ I incorporated personal data sets, including flight emissions from Sydney to Svalbard and my sense of increasing unease. Studies have shown that moral consistency is important and increases effectiveness when communicating a message. Integrating personal transparency was done to gain the trust of the viewer. Continuing the data sets [I] included carbon dioxide levels worldwide and the receding sea ice in the Arctic Circle. The hand gestures act as a human remnant, an empty gesture in a digital work, where we are barely seen, but the content is a reflection of our actions.

Katie Turnbull  is an Australian visual artist, based in London.


She completed her Masters in Animation & Interactive Media from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and has a Bachelor of Digital Media from the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales.


Taking as her subject matter the history of the moving image, psychology, patterns in crowd behaviour and the overlap with patterns in nature. Her work explores these themes providing interactive, playful and often tangible ways of experiencing the moving image combining pre-cinema technology, mapping, animation and video.


© Anthropocene Magazine 2016