Simulating Ecologies

collaborative, geospatial, AI, climate, forensics

The synthesis of computational technology and environmental data. This approach offers a rethinking of how digital/physical systems interact with natural landscapes, emphasizing a dynamic interplay rather than a dichotomy - always a disconnection and connection simultaneously, which only become relevant in relation to each other.

The project contains the following subs

Meandering Rio Grande / Bravo

The live online website can be accessed here.

A web based 3D repository using materials developed during the Land Arts 2020 Adapation where I assisted throughout the project. It was initially geared towards producing an interpretation of the historical meanders of the Rio Grande/Bravo river US / Mexico border. A project undertaken as part of a much larger effort in cooporation with Texas Tech University, Marfa Books, Zoe Leonard Studios, and a wide research network. The original beginning of the project by Land Arts of the American West can be found here.

Meandering Rio

Jose Villanueva’s story animated at the location of contribution (25.882778, -97.476675), 2021, digital animation. Image taken from website. source: Southwest Contemporary Vol. 5


Meandering Rio Website.

Open Datasheet GEOJSON Files

Interactive and user-generated database exhibiting stories from the Rio Grande / Rio Bravo river.

In collaboration with Land Arts of the American West & surrounding research network, and Jose Villanueva.

Further Sections and Offshoots of the Greater Rio Project

Meandering Rio

Three-dimensional visualization of border wall in Matamoros area, heights vary by concentrations of wall, 2021, digital. source: Southwest Contemporary Vol. 5

Technical Overview

The web repository contains GEOJSON files of the river from 1800 - present. Those shapefiles were recovered through raster tracing and georeference processes on historical maps.

It uses Deck.GL for 3D visualization and Google Maps API. Google street views are used with GIF animations that have been anchored in the coordinates where the correspond to. The open source code and file repository can be found in the github link.

Meandering Rio

screenshot of website showing user view

HighRes Lidar scans were also a large part in this project, where the GEOJSON shapefiles could be contrasted with micro resolution Digital Elevation Models.

DEM Film

A short film exploring the change of the Winooski River in Vermont USA. Computer generated imagery and audio field recording create a digital map of the river from 1900 until now. This river once sustained the thriving Native American Abenaki people, and was key in social movement between groups throughout the Lake Champlain water basin. Since colonization of that land, it has become intertwined with electrical, gas, roads, and private ownerships. The making of the short film was based on digitizing maps and archiving them. That process gave the ability to recreate different states of the river through time. Using different audio from locations on the river injected the physical life of the inhabitants, human or not.

Shown in the Goethe-Institute CHEMICAL (RE)ACTIONS Film Festival [2021]

DEM film

a sequence from the introduction of the film. Full film can be seen here

DEM film

circled captured from Machine Learning recognition program, masking farm plots where circular farming takes place.

Hydro Modeling

This practice based research dove into the intricate cycle of modeling, data collection, energy utilization, and simulation, reflecting a critical approach towards these processes. It explored how these elements interact, emphasizing the importance of each step in understanding and optimizing hydroelectric systems. This project stands as a testament to the multifaceted nature of ecological informatics, where data and models don't just inform but also critically engage with energy practices, offering deeper insights into the sustainable use and impact of hydroelectric power.

More information on this process can be found here

DEM film

a snapshot of a larger model of a hydroelectric turbine running on a computer cooling system.

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