Carbon Arts – Creative solutions for a changing climate

Carbon Arts – Creative solutions for a changing climate

Sandra Conte

27th May 2013

“At the heart of our practice is the belief that creativity is essential in making the transition to a more sustainable society, and that the journey should be playful, fun and rewarding.” - Jodi Newcombe, Director, Carbon Arts.

Jodi Newcombe, Founding Director of Carbon Arts, works with artists the world over on creative projects that seek to contribute to a more sustainable future. Jodi works collaboratively with notables such Andrea Polli, who is a keynote speaker at Balance Unbalance 2013, and Natalie Jeremijenko, both leaders in their field and specialists in artistic responses to environmental challenges. Jodi is well situated to facilitate an increased role for artists in generating awareness and action on climate change, given her background as an environmental engineer, and economist and with a history in consulting to international business and government.

Jodi will be presenting a Pecha Kucha on Carbon Arts and a conference paper at Balance Unbalance 2013 entitled ‘Echology: Making Sense of Data’, a public art initiative developed in partnership between Carbon Arts and ANAT fostering innovative practice at the intersect of data, sustainability and public art. Jodi will touch on the first outcome of the project which was the commissioning by Lend Lease of Natalie Jeremijenko’s The Mussel Choir at the Melbourne Docklands development. Jodi states, “This work realises artist Natalie Jeremijenko’s concept for a public artwork that uses mussels to represent – through the engaging medium of song - the real-time water quality of the Melbourne Docklands’ aquatic ecosystem”.

Unpacking the concept, Jodi explains, “The Melbourne Mussel Choir can play music anywhere because of the open data platform we’re using – anyone can download and jam with the choir’s data (which is the movement of the mussel shells – their ‘gape’ – an indicator of water quality, or as the artist, Natalie Jeremijenko calls it: ‘the qualities of water’). The mussels will also be on twitter, facebook and instagram”

Jodi is also excited about meeting up with Natalie in Sydney for the City Data Slam a part of an innovative new project of Carbon Arts with the City of Sydney called ‘Sensing Sydney: communicating sustainability through the arts, open data and public space’. The City Data Slam takes place at ISEA2013, the international symposium on electronic arts that is in Sydney this year where Natalie Jeremijenko will be joined with 10 other artists, including Andrea Polli to generate new dialogues and citizen-engaged action on environmental issues in public space. ISEA registered participants can join the Slam which will culminate in a show and tell on Sunday 16 June at 3pm. And then, next up, there will be a Sensing Sydney public art commission showing at Art & About in Sydney this September-October.

For further information go to or to hear more from Jodi Newcombe stay tuned for the eARTh interview with Carbon Arts in our October issue.

(Jodi Newcombe will present at Balance-Unbalance 2013. Photography by Giorgia Maselli.)

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