EcoArtTech has created a new web-based application for turbulence.org that mashes up Flickr photos of national parks with real-time air quality data. It’s a good effort and the air quality of national parks is something worth investigating. But as air-quality is beyond our individual control, I wonder what an effort such as this can accomplish. Yes, Ansel Adams photos led to the creation of new national parks in California’s Sierras, but what can we artists do today? Hacks of existing data seem to only corroborate what already know, or at least what those of us paying attention to the environment already know.
I’m not trying to bash EcoArtTech’s efforts, but a project such as this only makes me think of the bigger forces (i.e., government regulations) that need to be enacted to improve air quality. And personally, I’d rather see those efforts directed at the highly populated areas such as communities surrounding the Port of LA and Long Beach, where air pollution has serious, direct impact on hundreds of thousands of people.
If anything, a project such as this is a good representation of the futility I feel with so many of these issues. What can we do? At least a shout in the digital wilderness is a start.
> Experience the Eclipse project here.
> More by EcoArtTech here.