environment

European Geosciences Union symposium 2017 by Ekaterina Smirnova

This spring I traveled to Vienna to join 14,495 scientists from 107 countries discussing about Earth, environment and climate. This event took place in a large conference center, to be able to provide enough space for dozens of simultaneous talks, hundreds of posters, science booth and so on.

For 5 days from early morning to mid evening important topics were discussed, such as: Missions and techniques for planetary explorations,
Atmospheric and Meteorological research,
Vegetation-climate interactions...

But I was most interested in the following topics:
Arctic environmental change: global opportunities and threats,
Cities' resilience to a changing climate,
Present and future of permafrost in a climate changing world,
Rising methane and climate,
Future global cooperation on Climate Sciences...

It was amazing to see so many scientists uniting to protect our planet and present their research of the changing climate. I am very inspired as an artist and this symposium most definitely will help me with my current project "Frozen Waters" where I am researching snow and ice as a fragile phenomena in a warming environment.

I am very humbled to being able to also give a talk during this symposium and present my poster in the session "Scientists, artists and the Earth: co-operating for a better planet sustainability". 

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I am not alone in my fight for better planet sustainability and reducing global warming. If you are with me, please share your thoughts and lets work o this together! 

 

 

 

Frozen Waters, show in Japan by Ekaterina Smirnova

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During my stay at Tenjinyama art studios in Sapporo (Jan 2017) I was doing research of snow. The goal is to present the fragility of snow due to the rising temperatures globally. At this show I am displaying a series of works on paper that were created with snow.

My viewers are invited to download a free app Blippar and experience augmented reality (AR), though which paintings come to live. Each of these pieces was recorded during it's creation over a period of few hours (up to a whole day), during which the snow was melting on paper and leaving patterns as the water dried. I am creating a utopian experience imagining a future where you will no longer be able to see snow in person and will only be able to experience it via recordings, videos and photographs. 

For my creations I chose different types of snow. Dirty snow from the roads made the ugliest mark on paper leaving behind all of the dirt, that it originally absorbed. Because of the overuse of salt in the cities in winter even the snow carries large amounts of salt, large enough to leave behind crystallized salt patterns which are presented on the picture below.

Varies sound recordings associated with snow and ice are accompany each artworks as well.

Try Augmented Reality now:
1. download Blippar app on your smart device
2. turn of sound
3. point of any of the artworks below wait for the system to recognize the image
Note:
you can flip your phone vertical or horizontal. To see the next image close the previous (x)

 Try AR on this image

Try AR on this image

 Try AR on this image

Try AR on this image

 Try AR on this image

Try AR on this image

I am continuing my research on this subject. So please stay tuned, there is more work to come.

Exploring subarctic snow in Japan by Ekaterina Smirnova

Why snow? 
There are a few reasons why I am interested in snow. Besides enjoying the obvious beauty and purity of snow, I want to look at it from a different perspective: environmental. Snow and ice are very sensitive to the temperature change. In the global scale of climate change where Earth's temperatures are keeping on rising, world's snow is melting and I am scared to imagine a utopian future where we will never see this natural beautiful phenomenon.

I traveled to Japan, it's most Northern part – Hokkaido, to research snow in subarctic region. During my residence at the Sapporo Tenjinyama Art Studio I was collecting a lot of photo references, sketching, brainstorming and developing ideas on how to represent the fragility of snow. 

 Prof. Shigeru Aoki, Physical Oceanography, Antarctic Cryosphere.

Prof. Shigeru Aoki, Physical Oceanography, Antarctic Cryosphere.

I visited the Low Temperature Research Institute of Hokkaido University and talked to scientists to study more about their research. When meeting with glaciologist Prof. Shegeru Aoki, who has helped with IPCC Report (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), I've learned about concerns of melting snow in Antarctica. The continental snow there is slowly moving off land towards the ocean, which did not happen before. Besides increasing the level of world's ocean, melted ice is also releasing trapped CO2 back to the atmosphere, which of course makes things worse. 

 In - 50C room: Prof. Naoki Watanabe, Astropysical Chemistry, Ice and Planetary Science group.

In - 50C room: Prof. Naoki Watanabe, Astropysical Chemistry, Ice and Planetary Science group.

Japan is famous for drilling ice very deep to collect samples of glacier. Prof. Naoki Watanabe was very kind to give me a tour to the -50C room!!! where I could observe glacier samples from 740 000 yr. B.P. (3000 m deep)! 

 Samples of glacier in various depths.

Samples of glacier in various depths.

 Very thin layer of glacier ice with special light. Deeper ice has stronger pressure – crystals become larger.

Very thin layer of glacier ice with special light. Deeper ice has stronger pressure – crystals become larger.

Later Prof. Watanabe showed to me current experiments researching ice crystals in Oort cloud. Impressive and very complicated machines take few rooms. Exploring Oort cloud helps us to understand the formation of the Solar System. Ice in very primitive form is acting very slowly in extreme temperatures of deep space (-263C). Prof. Watanabe and his team running various tests to understand the composition and processes in molecular cloud at the edge of the Solar System.  

Studying from professionals I would like to implement my knowledge to the future artwork. I even would like to make my own tests, such as growing snow crystals and exploring the composition of collected samples of snow.

 

Art world is not very supportive of environmental art by Ekaterina Smirnova

There were only a hand-full of artists who actually did something meaningful and wanted to address the environmental issue. I would like to celebrate them in this post. 

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