The aesthetics of wonder, honouring the unseen, anthropocene dreams, radical nature.
The ocean has a fever. Already, we are beginning to record the first sea extinctions of this ecological era, such as the Derwent River Seastar. What is marine life like now, in the newly acidic, simmering waters?
Today Prototype brings you a different kind of screen art. We’re marshalling you onto Instagram, where you can engage with a series of new works of augmented reality effects by Jess Herrington.
Water occupies most of Earth’s surface. But ocean wildlife is hard to visualise and far away from urban lives. The sea’s surface conceals industrial impact. Through much of art and film history, the sea has been depicted as empty, dangerous and too vast to understand. We can’t readily see the damage done to weedy seadragons, red-toed anglerfish, Sydney pygmy pipehorses, blue devil fish and pink soft coral. Herrington uses the tools of augmented reality – immersion, sound effects, digital illustrations made to move – to summon wonder and awe for the underwater worlds that humans have changed but cannot easily see. She’s imagined what plants and animals – tardigrades, lilies – might survive the ocean’s warming.
When we talk about the environment, we tend to speak in terms of our difference and distance from it. Jess Herrington’s imagined seascapes present a different way to think of us and the warming ocean: we are part of it; it is us.
About Jess Herrington
Jess Herrington is a digital artist and designer working with augmented reality. She creates surreal worlds, exploring how we can represent ourselves in the age of the internet through play and interaction. Her work is currently in Paris' Digital Art Month.