We’ve received over thirty responses to our online survey, which might not be enough to establish a credible scientific perspective, but it’s enough to provide an idea of what people know—and don’t know—about water. We’ll be pulling quotes from the responses to include in our forthcoming website.
While I’ve been designing responsive navigation menus and styling the skeleton of our website, Paz has been busy exploring the environs of Mar Menor. She is planning an “alternative touristic walk” of the region, that will highlight local pollution and environmental threats from a biological perspective. I’m hoping to translate that experience to the website for those of us in the United States. As you can see below, the water in Mar Menor is extremely gross (to use the technical term), and demonstrates the high turbidity of the lagoon that Paz is studying through micro-biology.
Meanwhile in the U.S., the new administration has added alternative facts to the ever-evolving lexicon of bullshiting, the Environmental Protection Agency faces debilitating budget cuts, and protest signs proclaim “Facts matter” and “Science is not a liberal conspiracy.” All this underscores the need for science education, and particularly the need to make it cool. Fortunately we have Neil deGrasee Tyson to put science-skeptics in their place while remaining the coolest person on the planet.
One of the design choices I’m currently faced with is how close to stick to mainstream design trends in web design. As an online project, our site needs to be accessible to people on mobile devices, and clearly communicate a variety of information. If a user can’t figure out what they’re looking at or how to advance to the next page, they will probably just click over to Facebook and avoid learning anything about water chemistry or microbiology. On the other hand, we’re artists (or sciartists?) and the website should appear somewhat more like a creative visual experience than your average portfolio site.
I’m aiming to have something online by the first week of February (the nominal end to our residency and weekly blog posts), but I suspect we’ll continue to add content after that as it’s completed. We also finally decided on a name for the project:
Visit our other residency group's blogs HERE
Paz Tornero is an artist, visiting professor at the University of Caldas in Colombia, researcher at the University of Murcia, Faculty of Fine Arts in Spain, and visiting fellow at the Institute of Microbiology (USFQ) in Ecuador.
Benjamin Andrew is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist, storyteller, and Instructor at Pennsylvania State University.