Augmented Terrain will be a large-scale media artwork that re-presents the relationship between nature and culture. The intention is to configure the land itself as active, not neutral, and to imagine it being able to speak and make comment about human impacts upon it.

To capture our own aerial views we employ an unmanned airborne vehicle (drone) to capture high-resolution landscape images. Working with Marco Peljhan artist and co-founder of C-Astral,

Launching the c-astral drone in Western NSW April, 2014

programmed flight pattern

The system is flight ready in under five minutes and safely operated by a single operator/pilot and is equipped with C-Astral high rate GPS and GYRO precision data-logging electronics.

c-astral drone


Augmented Terrain prototype installation 

In July 2014 we built and showed an installation prototype/proof of concept, during a  2-week residency at the Io Meyers Studio Space, UNSW, Sydney. For the development phase of the project we incorporated video footage from drone flights manipulated in postproduction, exploring desertification and fire in the Australian landscape.


In Incompatible Elements, environments and ecologies that are hanging in the balance; from the Ganges Delta to the Coorong in SA, are rendered as aerial landscapes that sweep slowly by. Embedded in these scapes are texts that emerge from the manipulation of pixels representing earth and water – and so Starrs & Cmielewski engage in kind of digital geochemistry, terraforming new waterways and barren patches of sand that tell stories in winding, cursive script.

Bec Dean, catalogue essay 2010.

a living body (video still detail)

Our artworks explore the Asia/Pacific region with regard to desertification, shrinking river systems, rising sea levels and warming oceans. In a recent project we manipulated NASA satellite images of the Ganges Delta in Bangladesh to embed the words ‘days like these’ into the winding paths of the delta’s multiple tributaries.

A still from this video work was used on the cover of The Future of the World’s Climate, co-edited by our scientific consultant Ann Henderson-Sellers.

incompatible elements, installation view 2010

An artwork like Incompatible Elements is not propaganda or politics, yet the artists are unwilling to leave socio-political questions to designated experts. The cumulative effect of Incompatible Elements is not alarmist, rather human responsibility is implicated in the large-scale geo-physical changes to our world that the artists represent. The work encourages reflection on the impact of cumulative weather events that are difficult to conceptualise as statistical data or scientific warnings.

Janine Randerson, critical flows: climates & people
RealTime issue #104 Aug-Sept 2011 pg. 3