A team from Art-A-Hack™ 2021 Special Edition — Singapore / India Climate Action

Team members:

  • Anish Cherian
  • Holly Veselka

The Under the Shade of a Tree team collaborated remotely from locations in India and USA, to create an online platform that allows artists, activists, and other collaborators to geo-tag audio recordings at specific locations - hosting sound walks that focus on history, biodiversity, and the challenges such sites face due to climate change and over-development.

A sample of the sound walk’s online visual format
A sample of the sound walk’s online visual format

Under the Shade of a Tree aims to convene culture-specific experiences, both ecological and human, to provoke dialogue around climate action. The platform pairs various mediums including storytelling, narration, and music to invite listeners to experience the site from a non-human perspective.

The team plans to release two site-specific sound walks: Theosophical Society Headquarters, Chennai (developed by Anish Cherian) which will concentrate on motivating climate action through fostering hope and concern while avoiding despair, and San Marcos, Texas (developed by Holly Veselka) focused on planetary action through voices of affected the community. These will serve as guides for developing future site-specific sound walks around the world.

A video narrating an Under the Shade of a Tree site in Chennai

A mobile web-based detection app will show the physical location, using Javascript Code hosted in Github. Visitors will be required to carry GPS-enabled phones which will guide them through various sites.

The team presented their proof of concept at a virtual livestreamed showcase of collaborative artworks by program fellows. The showcase was divided into themed presentation rooms – Under the Shade of a Tree in Room 2: Cross Cultural Collaboration.

The team's presentation and demo at the 2021 showcase

Art-A-Hack™ 2021 Special Edition — ‘Climate Action’ received generous support from theU.S. Embassy in Singapore, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia (New Delhi), Goethe-Institut / Max Muller Bhavan (Bangalore), and incubation from Thoughtworks Arts, and in partnership with Supernormal (Singapore), In The Wild (Singapore) and Dara.network (USA) and BeFantastic (India).