YOMO/Intermedia is an experimental dance, music, media and visual art project. A theatrical performance features dancers and musicians onstage, with a larger virtual cast appearing in video projections, integrated with footage of ocean and coastal locations and fragments of animated films, all evoking aspects of natural beauty and environmental degradation. The animated films also are presented in their entirety in a multi-channel video installation. Originally produced at UC Irvine, the project is being restaged at Brown University.
Your Ocean, My Ocean (YOMO) is an ongoing art and technology project concerned with environmentalism, climate justice and community engagement. YOMO brings together a transdisciplinary group of artists and designers to create a series of experimental performances and exhibitions responding to the natural beauty of oceans and coastlines, as well as to detrimental human impacts on ocean ecosystems. We observe that inattention to crucial values combined with unquestioning acceptance of decisions based upon rational thought can create an unhealthy dependence on ill-considered technological “solutions.” In this context, YOMO uses aspects of the human-ocean relationship to demonstrate and illuminate ways in which the human desire to transform our environment is unleashing destructive forces that endanger the world and everything in it, including ourselves.
The oceans cover the majority of the planet’s surface and are a primary line of defense against the effects of anthropogenic climate change. If carefully managed, our oceans’ wild fisheries offer an essential resource for feeding Earth’s continually growing population. But the oceans face potentially catastrophic threats due to human activity, including the effects of pollution, marine debris, hypoxia, destructive fishing practices, rising sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification. With a sense of foreboding we note the developing planetary crisis driven by the rapidly evolving human capacity to alter planetary ecosystems, particularly our oceans and coastlines.
As artists deeply engaged with 21st-century technologies, we have a passionate desire to respond to these crucial issues. We know (all too well) how a lack of attention to crucial values combined with unquestioning acceptance of rational thought can create an unhealthy dependence on ill-considered technological “solutions.” One of our primary goals in this project is to contribute to climate justice by developing a creative framework that honors diverse voices and cultural perspectives. We recognize that environmentalism is not a new movement – environmental activism has played a central role in the cultures of indigenous peoples and of brown, black and other disadvantaged communities for thousands of years.
The YOMO creative team is inspired by the profound natural beauty of our oceans and coastlines, including the aesthetics of human involvement. At the same time, we feel the need to respond to the existential threat posed by the rapidly escalating degradation of ocean systems. While we are privileged to be operating within an elite university research environment, where we can draw upon the knowledge and experience of leading researchers, scientists and scholars, we also want to engage with a wide range of communities around this theme, eliciting insights from a diverse mix of participants including different cultures, ages, races, genders, income levels and life experiences.