Zachary Norman’s Endangered Data uses the cryptographic method known as steganography to store data from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) within the pixels of visual images. The images can be shared, thus surreptitiously sharing encrypted data across communication systems that might be surveilled. The addition of data is itself visualized in a change in an image’s colors, which can be controlled by the user.

In this project, the color changes signify a dis-colorization of environments. Soft white clouds in blue skies transform into dayglo-colored explosions. Mountains covered in greenery suddenly seem to sprout toxic molds. Waves that once reflected only light now glisten with neon-colored films that convey toxicity. CDIAC datasets document carbon cycles in the atmosphere, oceans, and land. They enumerate trace gases and aerosols, CO2 emissions, and vegetation responses to CO2 and climate. It represents the science the global warming-denial attempts to discredit, delegitimize, and disappear.“

Image: 14.23°S, 170.56°W
Cape Matatula, Samoa
Single Channel Video

Measurement data from Cape Matatula, Samoa (14.23°S, 170.56°W) measurement station encrypted into image of location. Increase in pixels used to store data proportionate to increase of Methane (CH4) in atmosphere between 1996 and 2016. Data can be viewed here.

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