The Heat(e)scape project emerged when Sean Deckert, an artist interested in the urban heat island effect, met with Karina Benessaiah, a geographer interested in how people perceive and adapt to changing social and ecological systems. Through the combination of infrared & normal video camera systems with interviews and music, this project seeks to articulate a more nuanced understanding of heat in the Phoenix metro area. How are neighborhood heatscapes differing? How are people perceiving and more importantly adapting to the Phoenix heat? By allowing us to visually navigate heatscapes at the local level, thermal imaging* provides a novel way to relate climate to place and the people that inhabit it.

*Thermal imaging, or infrared, measures the thermal energy emitted by objects. Infrared produces images that visually represent parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that are usually not visible but are instead perceived as heat by humans. For more information regarding this technology, go to http://www.flir.com/thermography.

Support for Heat(E)scapes was provided by Arizona State University Global Institute of Sustainability SMART Lab, Phoenix Transect, FLIR Infrared Cameras and Phoenix Urban Research Lab.



Title: Tempe | Mill Avenue Thermal Tour
Description: 2 Channel video from infrared and daylight
Date: 4/2012
Location: Tempe

Title: Downtown Phoenix | A Thermal Car Ride
Description: 2 Channel video, infrared & daylight 1:57
Date: 4/2012
Location: Phoenix

Sean Deckert

About Sean Deckert

Sean Deckert was born in Culver City, California in 1984 and grew up in southern Illinois with his mother and sister. He left to attend Arizona State University for a Bachelors in Fine Arts, where he studied under Betsy Schneider and Mark Klett. His development of portraiture and landscape involves techniques that require multiple technology combinations, complex layering of information, and holographic aesthetics that usually employ conceptual installation methods for the final piece. His work has been exhibited extensively in Phoenix and Los Angeles with upcoming exhibitions booked in multiple international venues. His network of friends/collaborators ranges from scientists to local community organizers that advise and assist him during the development of his work. He has volunteered extensively in his local arts community, including his membership with the Eye Lounge Collective and Artlink. Although he is trained as a photographer his work often associates with architecture, sculpture and video. Locality and the interpersonal identity of people are the central themes throughout the variety of mediums his work employs. His most recent work could be classified as ecologically and socially investigative due to its concentration on the sociopolitical environmental issues of urban spaces such as Urban Heat Island. Sean Deckert photographs intersections of time and place beneath the patterns of climate. His focus on urban landscape and the human development that unfolds in these spaces bears witness to the ecological impact relevant within contemporary cultures. Time lapse and infrared imagery build upon the historical role of photography as a scientific tool while still elevating the visual aesthetic above the documentary nature of the medium. Structural urban places become reminiscent of organic human bodies. Previously invisible solar patterns and heat signatures transform into respiratory rates. The sky becomes a tangible object to understand as a force in flux with these spaces. Using the most extreme cities as the synecdoche for his socially concerned vision, he works primarily in Phoenix, Arizona and Beijing, China. His work is evidentiary in nature although the intrinsic quality lies in its conception as art for the future of understanding what these issues look and feel like to the average citizen.

Website: http://www.seandeckert.com/