Recently the Department of Digital Arts and the Department of Geosciences teamed up for a total rebranding of the highly popular Spot the Jellyfish Campaign, intended to help the marine environment by recording the presence and location of various jellyfish species in Maltese coastal waters.
Dr Trevor Borg and Professor Vince Briffa are assisting a group of third year Digital Arts students with the input of Professor Alan Deidun and Dr Adam Gauci from the Spot the Jellyfish coordinating team, to redefine the overall visual aspect of the campaign and to give it a more contemporary edge that works across a wide variety of media.
This art and science collaboration is already yielding very interesting results and the coming months will see the roll-out of new and redefined content aimed at strengthening the ecocritical approach of the campaign. Striking illustrations, interactive design, animations and video content, designed by the students under the guidance of the lecturers from both Departments will further increase the awareness about the health of our marine environment.
The ‘Spot the Jellyfish Campaign’ now into its 12th year is set to become more digitally interactive and appropriate to the context of citizen science, a phenomenon that is catching up quickly across the globe. Citizen science is in fact a key plank of the UNESCO Ocean Sciences Decade (2021-2030) and of the EU’s Mission Starfish vision. Such projects encourage the cross-fertilisation of ideas through exchanges between different Faculties and Departments while enhancing the innovative and political aspects of creative practice-based research in art and science, thus effectively dispelling the ‘silo approach’ which tends to fragment academia into isolated compartments.
Illustrations by Estelle Zahra, Christian Bugeja, Bradley Spiteri and Carlos Cutajar.