“Visualizing the Unpredictable Behavior of Wildfire Using an Artificially Intelligent Aesthetic” presented by Favero, Thurow, Stevens, Sharples and Davidson


Session Title:

  • Dataviz, Body and Cognition

Presentation Title:

  • Visualizing the Unpredictable Behavior of Wildfire Using an Artificially Intelligent Aesthetic




  • The 21st century sees the rise of wildfires, which radically destabilize the anthropocentric paradigm that place the human at its centre, by manifesting what theorists like Bruno Latour term ‘terrestrial agency’. As a manifold process that encompasses Earth’s ecological systems, we have been co-evolving within these processes, harnessing them for our civilizational progress. Yet, our concomitant refusal to acknowledge nature as an independent agent in which we exist has exacerbated climate change, leading us into what scholar Rick McRae terms the ‘age of violent pyroconvection’ – an age in which life on Earth will be shaped by wildfires and their complex dynamics. It amplifies the autonomous nature of terrestrial agency whose behavior defies human assumptions. These evolving dynamics between the human and the planetary require new aesthetic contexts in which two autonomous yet interrelated agencies mutually transform and disrupt each other.

    Existing creative visualization paradigms have struggled to aesthetically engage this relationship, falling short of providing compelling sensorial points of engagement. The paper briefly analyzes exemplary artistic works and proposes a novel aesthetic framework premised on integrating immersive visualization systems and Artificial Intelligence programming. It experimentally explores this architecture in relation to the iFire research project currently in development at The University of New South Wales.

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