Green by Design

Recognizing an environmental crisis, Eyebeam recently launched an "Eco-Vis Challenge" to address not only the ecological problems at stake, but also what they refer to as an "environmental data crisis." The organizers of the program, who include Eyebeam Fellows Michael Mandiberg, Brooke Singer, and Ben Engebreth, felt that many people are often overwhelmed by dense statistics related to the situation and their call was for artists and technologists to collaborate on two design challenges. The first was to create "Eco Icons" that "make visible environmental or ecological concerns" by engaging "the politics of information and the persuasion of graphics" and the second was to create an "eco-visualizer" that relies on one set of geological impact data and suggests alternative frameworks for viewing the information. Eyebeam has recently announced the finalists of these challenges and their projects are compelling. On view through January 26 in their exhibition, Feedback, are the top entrants in the Eco-Icons category. Here, visitors will see works like Oz Etzioni's symbol for unrecyclable material, which borrows from the visual language of its inverse, or Forays' "Edible Excess" decal, intended to help "urban foragers" locate free food among your disposals. The playfully informative Eco-Visualizers will be on view in March. This is all part of Eyebeam's "Beyond Light Bulbs" series, which suggests that we can all do more to help the world. - Marisa Olson

Image: Oz Etzioni, Unrecyclable icon, 2007