April 22 – June 4, 2022
The Main Gallery
Synoptic Translations – Digital Perspectives of the Anthropocene is an exhibition of digital artworks that engage with impacts of climate change and industrialization. Developed and created in 2022 by Colton Hash, a Victoria-based multi-media artist and art educator, the project consists of three conceptually and thematically related components: Carbon Pulse: Edmonton Heartland, Eye on the Anthropocene, and Evolutionary Forest. Using data visualization, simulation, and interactivity, Colton Hash creates experimental installations to confront overwhelming issues inherent to the Anthropocene.
Carbon Pulse: Edmonton Heartland is an interactive data visualization that depicts greenhouse gas emissions from Edmonton and the surrounding region. Historical climate data is integrated into this virtual landscape to visualize weather patterns as they interact with atmospheric pollutants. Gestural clouds, defined by government emissions data, emanate from urban areas and major industrial facilities. As viewers approach the display, their silhouettes are recorded by a depth camera, which is used to reveal transportation networks and energy infrastructure that connect regional industries.
Eye of the Anthropocene is a map-based data visualization that depicts the past decade of wildfire events in Canada and the United States. Historical climate model data for temperature and precipitation are included as drivers of wildfire behaviour. These climate-related events are juxtaposed with infrastructure data for petroleum pipelines, extraction wells, and flares recorded by NASA satellites.
Evolutionary Forest is a generative simulation that approximates ecological cycles of collapse and regrowth in a series of virtual landscapes. This digital ecosystem continually adapts to changes in the virtual climate, depicting potential for catastrophic disruption as well as resilient transformation. Although Evolutionary Forest is displayed as a painterly projection, this digitally bound ecosystem resides within computer hardware that is exposed to viewers.
Colton Hash is a digital artist who currently resides in Victoria on Lekwungen Territories of Vancouver Island. Hash’s multimedia practice is inspired by the wild and anthropogenic landscapes that surround him. Through an intuitive coding process, Hash creates impactful digital installations to foster reflection on contemporary issues. The artist employs representational imagery as a strategy to create accessible works that engage with the general public. In recognition of his politically based practice, Colton Hash received the Witness Legacy Award for Social Purpose and Responsibility Through Act (ProArt Alliance, 2019). For his interactive digital artworks, Hash was a finalist for both the Emerging Digital Artists Award (EQ Bank, 2019) and the Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP, 2021). Colton Hash received a Bachelor’s degree in Science in Computer Science, Visual Arts and Environmental Studies, and an MFA from the University of Victoria.
Technical assistance for this exhibition courtesy of Latitude 53
Top Image: Carbon Pulse: Edmonton Heartland (installation) 2022, interactive data visualization: climate, landscape, infrastructure and carbon emissions data
Photo courtesy of the artist