Live Oral Presentation in person as part of Local State based Program AFSS Conference 2020

Living Data: Using cultural arts practices to support evidence-based policy (#52)

Lisa L Roberts 1 2 , Ellery Johnson 1 , Paul Fletcher 3 , Cat Kutay 4 , Tracey Benson 5 6 , Jessica Melbourne-Thomas 7 8 , Katherina Petrou 1 , Melissa Silk 9 , Stephen Taberner 2 10 , Victor Vargas Filgueira 11 , Andrew Constable 7 , Danae Fiore 12
  1. Science, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  2. Living Data, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  3. Victorian College of the Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts & Music, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  4. Engineering, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT, Australia
  5. More than Human Lab Wellington , Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand
  6. Institute of Applied Ecology & Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT, Australia
  7. Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  8. Oceans & Atmosphere, CSIRO , Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  9. Design , University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  10. Spookmeister, The Spooky Men's Chorale, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  11. First Chancellor, Comunidad Indigena Yagan Paiakoala de Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
  12. Anthropology, Conicet & Asociacion de Investigaciones Antropologicas & UBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina

This paper aims to show how the arts can expand understanding of
scientific data, thereby increasing their value as fundamental to
accurate, long-lived communications and robust decisions. Ancient and
new technologies are explored to understand and communicate connectivity
in natural systems, through stories informed by Indigenous knowledge and
the scientific method.

A team of artists and scientists come together to co-author an animated
interactive map, using contemporary cultural arts practices, to invite
readers to experience stories told on virtual country, and to share
their own relationship to country. A freshwater ecologist draws in sand the primal forms that
express the ancient relationships that sustain life, and the
recent disruptions to these complex systems.

Animations are co-created and geo-located to enable people to
physically and viscerally connect with regions other than those they
inhabit, and increase awareness of global values and issues, from
different sources of knowledge.

Traditional and contemporary cultural arts can show connectivity in
nature, in ways that bring to life data from the scientific method, and
reveal how Indigenous knowledge and Western science can be
complimentary, and show the difference between historical, natural,
environmental phenomena and current unnatural phenomena.

  1. Fiore, D. (2020). The Art of Making Images: Technological Affordance, Design Variability and Labour Organization in the Production of Engraved Artefacts and Body Paintings in Tierra del Fuego (Southern South America). Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 27, 481-510.
  2. Gorddard, R., Colloff, M.J., Wise, R.M., Ware, D., and Dunlop, M. (2016). Values, rules and knowledge: Adaptation as change in the decision context. Environmental Science and Policy 57:60–69.
  3. Mcelwee, P., Fernández‐Llamazares, Á., Aumeeruddy‐Thomas, Y., Babai, D., Bates, P., Galvin, K., Guèze, M., Liu, J., Molnár, Z., and Ngo, H.T. (2020). Working with Indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) in large‐scale ecological assessments: Reviewing the experience of the IPBES Global Assessment. Journal of Applied Ecology 57, 1666-1676.
  4. Nunn, P. (2018). The edge of memory: ancient stories, oral tradition and the post-glacial world. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp 63-107.
  5. Nunn, P.D. (2020). In Anticipation of Extirpation: How Ancient Peoples Rationalized and Responded to Postglacial Sea Level Rise. Environmental Humanities 12, 113-131.
  6. Ogar, E., Pecl, G., and Mustonen, T. (2020). Science Must Embrace Traditional and Indigenous Knowledge to Solve Our Biodiversity Crisis. One Earth 3, 162-165.
  7. Yunkaporta, T. (2019). Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World. Text Publishing Company. Pp 165-181.