ASKXXI Research Network: Reimagining Ecology and Art for the XXI Century

Fernanda Oyarzun, Universidad Catolica de la Santisima Concepcion, Facultad de Ciencias, Concepcion, Chile, Genevieve Tremblay, Co-Founder and US Executive Director, ASKXXI, Bellevue,, WA, United States, Belen Gallardo, ASKXXI: Arts and Science Knowledge Building in the XXI Century, Santiago, Chile and Nelida Pohl, Director of Communications at Instituto de Ecologia y Biodiversidad, Santiago, Chile
ASKXXI: Arts + Science Knowledge Building and Sharing in the XXI is an art + science practice-based research network aimed at fostering interhemispheric collaboration in art, emerging digital/virtual technologies and the ecological sciences. During our pilot year (2018-19), we convened a multidisciplinary team of practitioners (artists, writers, filmmakers, designers, science communicators, biologists, ecologists) to focus on pressing conservation issues and connect relevant lines of research in South and Central Chile and the Pacific NW, which that address topics such as salmon sustainability, invasive species, conservation, biodiversity loss, forest and marine ecology and global change to deliver cross cultural perspectives and insights. A US-Chile consortium of academic, industry and cultural partners (University of Washington, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, University of Los Lagos, Reed College, Cornish College of the Arts, University of Puget Sound, Cornell University) was formed to support field based, lab research and studio investigations in both regions. In addition to the in site exploration of these ecosystems, our team cultivated industry partnerships (Microsoft Research (Visualization), AltspaceVR, Slip Rabbit Studios, Pixvana, UW Data Lab, Schema Design). We developed a suite of state-of-the-art workshops in 3D imaging/printing, Virtual, Augmented, Mixed Reality, Data Visualization, Holography and Data Journalism to explore new approaches to knowledge building and narrative creation.

Some of our work focused on critical discoveries being made by leading ocean scientists around the world is engaging a wider audience. One outcome of this experiential learning process was to see recognize the narrative and storytelling potential in data, visualizations and immersive media experiences. We will reflect on the art + science methodologies that have been developed by our team to create this platform and share the new art + scientific narrative forms created through leveraging 21st Century tools introduced through the program that are igniting wider societal conversations about marine ecology, natural and cultural diversity.