Online public art piece visualizes Tahoe climate data

Lake Tahoe is one of the most important lakes in the world due to its depth and clarity. | Katherine E. Hill

Tahoe Public Art has unveiled its climate data visualization art piece “Land to Lake” online to kick off the new year with a call to action. TPA’s team worked in close collaboration with the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) to analyze data sets from its annual “State of the Lake” report and distill the information down to a few of the most critical elements impacting lake clarity.

“Land to Lake” is a climate art experience originally designed for the Creating Equilibrium festival in Olympic Valley in August 2017 with data-driven storytelling that takes viewers on a journey through the anthropogenic (man-made) impacts on the terrestrial and aquatic ecology of the Lake Tahoe Basin, as well as the solutions required to restore balance, according to Tahoe Public Art. Ethereal narration by an indigenous tribal elder, one of the last speakers of the ancient and endangered Washoe (Wašiw) language, intertwines with animated data visualizations that help create an emotional connection to the scientific and cultural knowledge of the greater Lake Tahoe region.

“Land to Lake” is an aesthetic interpretation of scientific datasets providing a visual and sonic exploration of Lake Health, Biodiversity, Climate Change, and Solutions, culminating with a call to action for preserving and protecting the azure waters of Lake Tahoe for generations to come.

Lake Tahoe is one of the most important lakes in the world due to its depth and clarity. It’s the largest alpine lake in North America and the second deepest lake in the U.S. Climate scientists from around the world study climate change impacts on Lake Tahoe, as reports show average water temperature is steadily increasing at 15 times the historic average, and warming water has major implications, including a decrease in lake clarity. |

Artists participating in the project are:
Mia Hanak | Conceptual Design
Isabelle Fournet | Curatorial Development and Creative Design
Celeste Lear | Musical Composition and Sound Design
Heather Segale | TERC Climate Science Education
Melba Rakow | Washoe & English Narration
Toney Park | Photography