The idea of “carbon footprint” might seem abstract until it’s presented in tangible form. For a major environmental conference, Obscura’s interactive artistry brought the concept, and an educational installation, to life.
Measured and stored at standard atmospheric pressure, one ton of CO2 can fill a cube roughly the size of a three-story building (27 feet x 27 feet x 27 feet). Even more astonishing, this is the amount of CO2 that the average person in an industrialized country emits each month. In the US, one person emits that amount every two weeks.
When the UN Climate Change Conference was held in Copenhagen in 2009, organizers wanted to dramatically illustrate these statistics and engage people in a conversation about carbon footprints. A large-scale art installation, intended to show what one metric ton of carbon dioxide looks like, was subsequently unveiled in the Danish capital.
Constructed of 12 shipping containers stacked in an interlocking pattern, the CO2 Cube featured video projections on two sides, while the other sides provided the raw surface for a red-green-blue LED lighting system. The use of shipping containers underscored the idea that long-term sustainability can be achieved through reuse.
Obscura created a dynamic media portal for the installation, capable of visualizing web-based, real-time and produced content as an integral part of the experience. 4D content offered new ways for the audience to access ideas, making the exhibit a convergence of earth, art, science, and technology.