SensARTs: Bridging Borders through Art, Science, and Digital Innovation for Biodiversity Awareness

On November 25, 2023, the Institute of Creative Arts and Technology (ICreate), together with the Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation (IBEC), was involved in a project called Sensibilization of Youth through ARts, Sciences, and Digital TechnologieS (SensARTs). This program has been coordinated by the Embassy of France to Malaysia and the Cooperation and Cultural Affairs Service, in collaboration with strategic partners, namely the Alliance Francaise de Kuala Lumpur (AFKL), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Multimedia University, and the University of Malaya.

The objective of this project is to form a synergy between the fields of art, science, and technology to produce digital artwork that creates awareness of biodiversity among youth. The theme for this 2023 edition is “Mysterious and Fragile Biodiversity.”

UNIMAS was represented by Associate Prof. Dr. Hasnizam Abdul Wahid, as an artist who produces creative works, and Prof. Dr. Mohd Azlan Jayasilan as a researcher who contributes in terms of scientific knowledge. The objective of this program is to produce a digital artwork inspired by UNIMAS researchers and present it in the form of artwork to create awareness of biodiversity, our surrounding environment, and the impact of nature.

The several phases of development include an introductory session for participants involved, the project idea brainstorming session, a mentoring session, a presentation of the prototype, and the final performance.

UNIMAS was represented by ICreate and IBEC with their project entitled “SOUND OF THE FOREST, RHYTHM OF BIODIVERSITY.” It is a project that uses sound as an indicator of changes in our surroundings. The creative work was presented in the form of spatial listening, in 8 channels. To enjoy this performance, the audience is placed in the middle of the performance space and hears sound in three dimensions (3D).

Other presentations include “Guardian of the Sea” by Ysabel Loh Dun and Abe Woo Sau Pin (USM), “MyARTS: My Action to Rescue Tropical Species” by Anis Haron (MMU) and Mohammed Rizman Idid (UM), SUO-SUO: “Sabah’s Underwater Odyssey – Underwater wonders come alive” by Jeisyvionie Umir and Fikri Akmal Mohd (UMS).

A total of 60 participants from schools specially invited by the French Embassy in Malaysia, involving representatives from Teach for Malaysia, Sekolah Menengah Sains Kuching (SainsKu), Sekolah Menengah Sains Kuching Utara (SAKURA), and SK Balai Ringin.

The project produced will be used by selected schools for one year as teaching materials and can be accessed on the website https://soundcloud.com/user-187446332/sets/sensarts-sensibilization-of.

This project is fully sponsored by the Ambassade de France en Malaisie, Alliance Francaise Kuala Lumpur, in collaboration with UNIMAS as a strategic partner and the host in Kuching.

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