Scaling Quelccaya

QuelcOverChi

from Scaling Quelccaya, rendered in Maya (3D animation software), based on satellite imagery, 2016

 

In the ongoing artist-scientist collaborative project “Scaling Quelccaya,” glaciologist Andrew Malone and I explore visual strategies for conveying the retreat of the Quelccaya Ice Cap, the world’s largest tropical glaciated area, in the Peruvian Andes.  Drawing on 30 years of satellite imagery of the Quelccaya, we have generated a virtual recreation of the glacier’s retreat using 3D animation and gaming software, which we are juxtaposing against the “measuring stick” of Chicago.  We seek to understand the climate changes that are happening to our world, within a more viscerally understood scale. This project has generated talks, a mini documentary, and a forth-coming documentary.

This project is supported by the 2015-16 Arts, Science & Culture Initiative Graduate Collaboration Grants from the University of Chicago and funded by the Graduate Division, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1O3R28M_CA
A short documentary about the Scaling Quelccaya project

 

https://vimeo.com/173978886

Talk from the Arts, Science & Culture Graduate Collaboration Grant Presentations at the University of Chicago
willis_tribune_overhead

from Scaling Quelccaya, rendered in Maya (3D animation software), based on satellite imagery, 2016

https://vimeo.com/189576718

Landsat generated images of Quelccaya and Chicago, from Quelccaya’s dry season 2015 – dry season 2016

 

https://vimeo.com/166718158

In this video excerpt, Andrew Malone and I calculated how much ice had melted on the Quelccaya glacier in the past 30 years. We then calculated the height if an equivalent amount of snow were to fall on Chicago: approximately 600 feet.

Here is some more information about the technical procedure behind the process.

Quelccaya_Comparison