Forest protection is part of the main concerns of the project. Beyond user and government streams, we are looking to provide ARTiVIS video streams of particularly endangered forest locations.
This presents a curatorial challenge: the forests are selected by its environmental and aesthetic values, bringing visibility to these forests, aiming to contribute to their conservation. The ARTiVIS overall project selection of the places to cover proposes to follow a poetic framework based firstly on its relevance, as "lungs of the world" that have suffered serious fires and remain in constant threat. So how can we use the technologies of the day to give a meaningful snapshot of forests of the entire planet?

The idea is to use a range of webcams with wireless access, transmitting real-time video of forests distributed in the whole world, represented by two locations in each continent. Based on the highest forest fire rates published in the Le Monde Diplomatique Environment Atlas [Durand08] and in NASA's online database[Schwartz11], a pre-selection of sites to cover includes: in Europe – Portugal and Italy, in America – Amazon and California or Texas, in Africa – Congo and Angola or Mozambique, in Asia – Indonesia and India or Thailand, in Australia – Sydney Blue Mountains or Melbourne and New Zealand. The following map shows the diverse locations covered in the ARTiVIS presentations and the ones proposed for the nuclear structure.

So far, the ARTiVIS concept has been presented in several contexts and venues: Lisbon, Porto, Madeira, Guimarães, and Maçal do Chão in Portugal, Florence in Italy, Los Angeles in the USA, Vancouver in Canada, Istanbul in Turkey, and Newcastle in England. In the scope of the current research, the ARTiVIS interactive installations presented were implemented among the resources selected and available. Covering five places in Portugal, one in the United Kingdom(GMT +0), and one in Los Angeles (GMT +8), the ARTiVIS interactive installations showcased:
» The village tree and the forest at Maçal do Chão for Hug@ree and for Play with Fire (c);
» Santa Catarina sightseeing in Lisbon for Hug@ree (f);
» The Saudação Convent courtyard and the montado forest in Montemor-o-Novo for B-Wind! and for Play with Fire (b);
» UCLA courtyard tree in Los Angeles for Hug@ree (e);
» The Laurissilva forest of Madeira for Play with Fire and first local implementation tests (d);
» The Penha forest in Guimarães for Play with Fire (a);
» The Newcastle University courtyard for the Play with Fire demo.

The ARTiVIS places “wish list” includes further places to cover. Globally, the proposal is to go forward with the world coverage selection presented, starting with the implementation in the inescapable Amazon in Brazil (GMT-4), the largest rainforest in the world – paradoxically robust and fragile, one of the developing countries in tropical areas where the deforestation concern is responsible for one fifth of the worldwide carbon emission.
Locally, further locations in Portugal (GMT +0) still include places with a great potential for enhancing the connection of Art and Culture, such as Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site near Lisbon also recently affected by forest fires, for its exuberant forests that enchanted 19th century romantic writers, and Serralves Park, a privileged landscape in the courtyards of Porto’s cultural icon, for its indoor-outdoor relationship of nature and art in the Serralves Contemporary Art Museum.




NASA Visible Earth – A Catalog of NASA Images and Animations of our Home Planet »
NASA's animation displaying active fires around the world between March 2000 and May 2012 »

SCHWARTZ, Ariel (2011) A Video Visualization Of Earth's Fires From Space, in Fast Company, NY, October 20, 2011.

Future work
Mashup with Google Earth

Live ARTiVIS webcam at Graça [GMT+0]
Lisbon, Portugal