Flo: The Watershed Project





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Published on Nov 1, 2012

Flo: The Watershed Project, 2012 (work in progress), 8' x 10' x 10', Interactive 3D Virtual Environment Simulation Artwork

by Kathleen Ruiz, abd Ph.D., Associate Professor of Integrated Arts

"Flo" continues my artistic research in using simulation technology to explore first person experience, intentionality, and empathy. "Flo" offers a rare opportunity to create a unique bridge between the digital and natural worlds. Here one experiences what it may be like to "be" water. Not only an artwork, this project has educational components in the form of mini-games that address water pollution, sustainability, and ecofriendly practices.

Digital natives will "play" the simulation online, but to complete the highest quest, one must go out into the field, conduct scientific water testing (both observational and chemical), in addition to artistic observations and impressions, and upload their results to a server.
This project is a work in progress with a dedicated team of educators and environmental groups including Kate Van Baren, Amber Bennett, Katie Palm, Kerissa Fuccillo; research scientists including Elliot Schneiderman, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, NYC Environmental Protection, Watershed Science Modeling and Kerissa Fuccillo, Ph.D. Scientist and Director of Education & Research, The Ashokan Center specializing in Bioswales;
An amazing team of Rensselaer students are making the game and web portal. They include Evan Minto: CS/EMAC; Beth Werbaneth: CS/ GSAS; Beth Towns: CS/GSAS; Colin Neville: CS/GSAS; Rosa Tung: EArts/GSAS; Randy Sabella: HCI/GSAS; Anthony Szymczyk: EArts/GSAS; Gabriella Ciavardoni: EMAC/CS; Dan Hawkins: Cog-Sci/GSAS; and music composition by Evan Gonzales: EArts/GSAS. Tremendous thanks to Ethan Coopenrath and Jay McGlothlin at Rensselaer.

This project is made possible with funds from the Catskill Watershed Corporation in partnership with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. For more information please see: www.rpi.edu/~ruiz

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