Lei Han and Lorraine Walsh
Music composed by Ben Richter
A DEGREE WARMER, 2021
3D animation, HD video
Duration 5:43, dimensions variable
Recognizing that the Earth today is on average approximately 2 degrees warmer since the pre-industrial era (1880-1900), the animation A Degree Warmer symbolizes the transformation from rivers to roots and delves deep into the cellular level on the planet. The story thus represents the power of adaptability, growth, change, and transport from an aerial view of rivers to a microscopic cellular level.
The artists include the Vitis Riparia (riverbank grape) and Vitis aestivalis (the summer grape celebrated in Missouri). Also wrapped in the moving narrative are layers with varied meanings, including imagery and ideas from scientific research that consider how plants adapt.
The work utilizes two models trained using StyleGAN2 with a database (over thousands of images serving as the learning material) from NASA Earth Observatory, histology studies of plant life from the Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library, and frozen grape scans from Dr. Allison Miller’s (St. Louis University) research lab.