After Ice

This is a Brooklyn story.  I was at a New Years day party hosted by a fiddle maker (luthier) and started talking to this guy Justin, who is an artist that works through the medium of photography.  He also, and here's the hook, is an embedded artist with NASA, flying in high altitude planes over the Greenland ice sheet documenting the melting of the polar icecaps. He's focused on climate change (as am I).  Not to equate us, I've been to climate marches, and can tweet with the best of them, but Justin, man, he has the Keeling Curve tattooed on his arm.  See some of his work here:  

So we got to talking, he was interested in an App, and having something to coincide with a show planned for Earth Day in NYC. I was interested in doing something non-profit and, given the politics of early 2017, political. The timeline seemed insane, especially as neither of us could spare any time until mid-February.  So, how to make an app in an incredibly short time, with little budget?  Call Aaron Fothergill.  He's the more vocal half of Strange Flavour, and they are the most passionate and fastest developers I've ever worked with.  And even better, they've built fishing games, which I thought might be a huge leg up in trying to depict a flooded world.

The problem with global warming is that it's hard for humans to take seriously.  It plays to our cognitive biases, our monkey brain can't handle threats that are distant in both time (decades) and space (the beach is far away for most.) We're wired to ignore distant threats. Our concept was to use augmented reality to put you viscerally in peril.  We wanted the water to come up just over your eyes, we wanted you to feel claustrophobic, flooded. That was the whole goal: Trigger an emotional response in your monkey brain about the threat of global warming.  And then have some links to take action, for example, donate to these guys now:



and finally, the Vice President:

Fun footnote: Freeverse made the very first AR app ever for the iPhone.  Fairy Trails.  It may be google-able.