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This project was successfully funded on July 23, 2012

Living Springs

by Karen Kocher


Download Video: Closed Format: MP4 Open Format: OGG / WebM

Barton Springs is Austin’s premier natural landmark and is touted by many as the “soul” of Austin. Emanating from an underground aquifer into a pool that is 1000 feet long, the Springs have played a central role in this geographic region for thousands of year. The Springs have been a place of sustenance and scientific inquiry, a place of ritual and recreation. Philosophers, poets, painters, politicians, biologists, geologists, religious leaders, and daily swimmers all call Barton Springs home.

The Springs have been a political lightning rod, on a local, state and national level for several decades, and yet, in spite of some successes, the effort to save the Springs is on-going. The Living Springs interactive documentary will be a part of this effort, a collective repository of the many stories of the Springs, a chorus that sings the vital importance and relevance of this natural refuge in the modern age. Unlike a linear narrative, our story is not one story, but many, told from myriad points of view.

The story of the Springs is introduced via a virtual underwater scene. This interface is at once fanciful, but also purposeful. It is not only fun to navigate one’s way through this ever-changing animation with swaying plants and swimming fish, it also reinforces at every moment that Barton Springs is a part of the natural environment, a living, breathing habitat, and in fact the central reason why this story exists.

The Springs’ many stories float up from the bottom of the animation inside interactive bubbles. By clicking on any one of the dozens of bubbles, viewers gain entry into the world of biologists, hydrologists, poets, painters, musicians, monks, priests, swimmers, and historic figures as they interact with the Springs. Through these many characters and their stories, the value and importance of the of the Springs is communicated.

All funds raised during this campaign will be used for producing  project videos and the programming of the final version of the interactive site. Living Springs will be available 24-7, around the globe, to any person with an internet connection. Locally, we will work with teachers to get this project built into the science and humanities curriculum throughout central Texas. A high-resolution version of the project will be installed as part of a permanent exhibit at the Barton Springs Education Center where over 90,000 visitors come each year.

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    • July 11, 2012 geoff marslett Artist

      karen does phenomenal work and the springs are amazing. great project to support.

    • June 20, 2012 Madhavi Mallapragada Community Member

      Best of Luck in meeting your funding goal, Karen. Madhavi

    • June 13, 2012 Juliet Dervin Community Member

      Another amazing project, Karen! Thank you!!!

    • June 06, 2012 PJ Raval Artist

      What a great and innovative project. Best of luck!