Data Landscapes Symposium

A darkened map of the world, visualizing points where the bluest skies are considered be.
Lise Autogena, Joshua Portway, Most Blue Skies, Data Landscapes.

Data Landscapes is a symposium and exhibition exploring the use of data and models of climate science within visual arts contexts.

The Data Landscapes symposium will explore how knowledge of climate is produced, and how arts practitioners can respond to issues around our changing environment by working with scientists, their methods and their data.

The symposium will touch on issues of public engagement and understanding of climate science, the role of interdisciplinary arts in an era of environmental change and communication and curatorial strategies. The symposium coincides with the Data Landscapes exhibition, 21-22 May 2011 featuring  The Southern Ocean Studies by Tom Corby, Gavin Baily + Jonathan Mackenzie reveals hidden systemic complexity using climate model outputs of the Antarctic Southern Ocean. Lise Autogena + Joshua Portway’s Most Blue Skies combines the latest in atmospheric research, environmental monitoring and sensing technologies with the romantic history of the blue sky and its fragile optimism.

Symposium programme

2.00: Tom Corby, introductions, themes and overviews
2.15: David Walton
2.45: Anne Sophie Witzke
3.15: Philip Brohan
3.45: Break
4.15: Ed Gillespie
4.45: Natasha Freedman
5.15: Lise Autogena, Joshua Portway
5.45: Discussion and reflections
6.30: Private view of exhibition


Tom Corby is an artist and writer working at the University of Westminster. His work produced collaboratively with Gavin Baily and Jonathan Mackenzie explores intersections of complex systems, technology and information and has been exhibited amongst other places at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM).

Prof David Walton is an Emeritus Fellow with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), following on from 40 years working as a scientist and board member. As a member of BAS Board he was responsible for the Environmental Information Division (EID). Prof. Walton has taken a keen interest in NERC data management. The Antarctic Environmental Data Centre (AEDC) was part of his remit (part of EID). He was responsible for establishing the BAS artists and writers programme run jointly with Arts Council England.

Anne Sophie Witzke is a curator working and researcher working at the Alexandra Institute in Copenhagen. In 2009 she curated Re-think Information as part of the COP15 Re-think: Contemporary Art and Climate Change exhibition at the National Gallery of Denmark. Her research explores how the climate crisis is also an “information crisis” or an “epistemological crisis” and will discuss ideas and arts practices that reflect upon these issues.

Philip Brohan is a climate scientist working at the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Change. His research focuses on historical analysis of proxy weather data. He is currently involved in the citizen science project Old Weather that uses historic records to predict future climates.

Ed Gillespie is the director of the Futerra communications agency. Futerra produces some of the leading policy research on the communication of climate change and sustainability. Reports include Sell the Sizzle. The New Climate Message, 10 Tips for Sustainability Communication and The Rules of the Game.

Natasha Freedman is deputy Director of Cape Farewell. She is a producer/director with a particular interest in developing interdisciplinary arts projects. Prior to working for Cape Farewell, she worked for six years with the internationally renowned theatre company Complicite.

Lise Autogena & Joshua Portway are artists who have been working together since 1991. In their ambitious multimedia collaborations, they explore our relations to the networks, economies and technologies that surround us, and how our human experience is changed by the incorporation into these systems. Using advanced technologies, such as the visualisation of live global data streams, their complex multilayered installations explore a sense of global presence, time and human interdependence.


Data Landscapes is organised by CREAM (The Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media, University of Westminster), in partnership with The Arts Catalyst. It forms part of an AHRC funded Researching Environmental Change project.