Vision of Pollution (and male fish growing eggs)

Male fish that are growing eggs have been found in the Potomac River (the main source of drinking water for the Washington area and many upstream communities) near Sharpsburg. The intersex abnormality may be caused by pollutants from sewage plants, feedlots and factories that can interfere with animals’ hormone systems (via MSNBC).

Which brings me to Floating Point, a project, by Tiffany Holmes , that investigates how design art can promote sustainable and ecologically responsible modes of living, and a general awareness of both local and global water quality issues.


She tries to figure out whether performance art, internet art, or some other visual phenomenon can be used as a communication strategy to transmit information about the environment to a diverse urban audience.

Holmes used data gathered by water scientists in shockwave animations to illustrate the effects of water pollution. Factors such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and flow are altered by moving sliders, and the changes are reflected in images–human faces, photographs of water and geometric shapes. The resulting animations are simple yet powerful, and are accompanied by explanatory texts that blend scientific and environmental facts with artistic motivation.

Via Rhizome and Neural.