“Office of Environmental Experiments” by Carlos Castellanos

  • ©, , Office of Environmental Experiments
  • ©, , Office of Environmental Experiments
  • Photo from ccastellanos.com


    Office of Environmental Experiments

Artist(s) and People Involved:

    Artist(s) In Residence:



Artist Statement:

    The Office of Environmental Experiments (OEE), is a participatory arts and technology initiative that aims to address the ecological and environmental health concerns of urban citizens via novel and creative uses of ecological research, environmental monitoring, and renewable energy technologies. We seek to foster awareness and greater community agency and autonomy over issues of energy production, ecological stewardship and environmental health and sustainability.

    For the first phase of this project, we deployed a prototype for a “Floating Data Wetland” in Wuhan, China. Done in collaboration with students and members of the local community, this is a floating island housing sensors and lights, along with native plants and grasses. The system measures water quality and in turn changes the color ofthe lights (red = bad water quality, blue = good). In addition, anyone with an Internet connection or mobile device can receive real-time information from the floating wetland, as the data is shared openly online. The vision for the project is to create a network of these data wetlands across the city, in its plentiful lakes and rivers.

    Participants could also register to receive updates on this data and identify stations near them in need of care, in essence “adopting” these wetland systems. The light and sound produced by the wetlands would serve as indicators of species activity, water quality and collective human interest in the environment. The floating wetlands themselves may also improve the overall water quality of the lake or river where they are deployed (as well as providing shade for the fish, which is typically beneficial).

    The Floating Data Wetland was completed at the K11 art village, located in Wuhan, China as part of the K11 Art Foundation x FUSE ISEA2016HK Residency Program, an initiative formed by KAF and Videotage as part of the 22nd International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA2016).