Echology: Making Sense of Data


Session Title:

  • Spaces and Ecologies

Presentation Title:

  • Echology: Making Sense of Data




  • The Echology: Making Sense of Data initiative seeks to break new ground in arts practice by asking artists to innovate with respect to a) the possible forms of data representation in public art and b) the artist’s role in engaging publics on environmental sustainability in new urban developments. Initiated by ANAT and Carbon Arts in 2011, Echology has seen three artists selected by National competition in 2012 for Lend Lease sites across Australia. In 2013 commissioning of one of these works, the Mussel Choir by Natalie Jeremijenko, began in Melbourne’s Victoria Harbour development. This emerging practice of data-driven and environmentally engaged public artwork presents multiple challenges to established systems of public arts production and management, at the same time as offering up new avenues for artists to forge new modes of collaboration. The experience of Echology and in particular, the Mussel Choir is examined here to reveal opportunities for expansion of this practice through identification of the factors that lead to a resilient ‘ecology of partnership’ between stakeholders that include science and technology researchers, education providers, city administrators, and urban developers.