Flotsam & Jetsam

John Craig Freeman, 2013

Flotsam & Jetsam is a virtual meta-commentary on global warming, expected sea level rise and the spread of plastic debris field gyres.

Flotsam & Jetsam, by John Craig Freeman, augmented reality public art, Singapore, 2013.

Flotsam & Jetsam, by John Craig Freeman, augmented reality public art, Singapore, 2013.

Produced in association with “Window Zoos & Views,” an exhibition of augmented reality public artwork during the Digital Art Weeks International, Singapore, 2013 and “Weathering Art,” an exhibition of contemporary art addressing global climate change at 119 Gallery in Lowell Massachusetts.

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Flotsam is floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo. Jetsam is part of a ship, its equipment, or its cargo that is purposefully cast overboard or jettisoned to lighten the load in time of distress and that sinks or is washed ashore by the Coriolis Effect; planetary vortices along with horizontal and vertical friction.

Marking the contour of the expected sea level fifty years from now, Flotsam & Jetsam is a clarion call for the denizens of the world to take seriously the science of climate change and other abuses to the global environment by envisioning the debris left by storm surge and other manifestations of the incoming tide.

Built for smart phone mobile devices, The public can simply download and launch the mobile app and aim their devices’ cameras in the streets, from Singapore to New England. The application uses geolocation software to superimpose shipping containers, boat wrecks, driftwood and plastic refuse at precise GPS coordinates, enabling the user to see the virtual objects integrated into the physical location as if they existed in the real world.

Instructions:

  • To view the work on location in Singapore or Lowell, using any late model iPad, iPhone or Android, download the free Layar Augmented Reality Browser (http://layar.com) and scan this code
  • .

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The Port of Singapore

The Port of Singapore refers to the collective facilities and terminals that conduct maritime trade handling functions in Singapore’s harbours and which handle Singapore’s shipping. Currently the world’s second busiest port in terms of total shipping tonnage, it also tranships a fifth of the world’s shipping containers, half of the world’s annual supply of crude oil, and is the world’s busiest transshipment port. It was also the busiest port in terms of total cargo tonnage handled until 2005, when it was surpassed by the Port of Shanghai. Thousands of ships drop anchor in the harbour, connecting the port to over 600 other ports in 123 countries and spread over six continents.

Flotsam & Jetsam was inspired by images of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy…

Superstorm Sandy

… and Midway: Message from the Gyre, by Chris Jordan

Midway: Message from the Gyre, 2009 © Chris Jordan.

Midway: Message from the Gyre, 2009 © Chris Jordan.

Flotsam & Jetsam, by John Craig Freeman, augmented reality public art, Singapore, 2013.

Flotsam & Jetsam, by John Craig Freeman, augmented reality public art, Singapore, 2013.

Digital Arts Weeks, TimeOut Singapore.

Interview: John Craig Freeman, TimeOut Singapore.

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