Evolution of Fish is an augmented reality installation that turns the surroundings into an underwater reef, filled with schools of fish. Visitors use iPads to guide the fish to swarm left and right - but the more they intervene, the more the fish turn to plastic garbage.
They installation includes large silvery Amberjacks, known for their love of debris, and colorful reef fish that will become more common on the Florida Panhandle Emerald Coast, as they migrate northward due to warming waters.
Video recording of Evolution of Fish projected on a house at Alys Beach for the Digital Graffiti Festival, 2019
Pan around two Evolution of Fish augmented reality projections, Digital Graffiti Festival, Alys Beach fire pit.
Playing around with the video feedback loop when you point the iPad at its own projected image
Threats to Ocean Ecosystems in the Anthropocene
Evolution of Fish seeks to playfully engage the public in a very serious threat to ocean ecosystems: ocean borne plastic waste. The links below are a work in progress as I seek positive responses to how this can be solved - or at least ameliorated.
"Bioplastics" e.g. from Lego reduce the carbon footprint of production, but are NOT biodegradable. Industrial farming of plants for plastics and biofuels can destroy the environment and push marginal farmers into poverty.
Improve waste recycling and elimination. China is the largest source of ocean plastics - due to waste mis-management but also because until 2018 Western countries shipped their waste to China for disposal. The USA recycled only 9% of its waste, even before this, and is now struggling to deal with all of its waste itself - perhaps why there is a surge of interest in dealing with plastic waste, as the problem can't be exported anymore.
Innovative ideas upcycle plastics, such as this building in Taiwan (more photos here).
There are newly discovered plastic-eating bacteria, but tinkering with ecosystems can often create even larger unforeseen problems.
Catch plastics before they enter the oceans (at the rate of one truckload every hour). Baltimore Waterfront commissioned trash wheels to collect river borne trash. Ranmarine is marketing their "WasteShark" internationally.
Clean up plastics already in the oceans: The Ocean Cleanup Project has received $35 million in funding and promises to "clean up all the oceans in 10 years" - but only addresses large pieces of the 1% floating near the surface.
Evolution of Fish contains custom software for geolocative positioning of AR content that requires the user's GPS position. This data is used only for positioning the AR content at the user's location, and is not stored or shared