Digital reviews | Check your climate consciousness online - Museums Association

Digital reviews | Check your climate consciousness online

Recent climate-related digital experiences rated according to greenness, transfemininity and accessibility
Florence Okoye
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A screenshot of Hold This Space, a platform that encourages users to reflect on their emotional responses to the climate crisis

How to check your website

To get my eco-check ratings, I used:

For the accessibility checks, I used:

And for the transfeminist tech perspective, I consulted:

Website | Hold This Space

Created by Common Vision in partnership with Force of Nature and Climate Cares, Hold This Space is a platform that doesn’t shy away from the question of eco-anxiety. But not only that, it also explores how such feelings can generate new futures.

Many of us are daunted by the scale of the climate crisis, with the constant news concerning ever-changing shifts in government policies, rising human costs, biodiversity loss and environmental depredation. Combined, it can easily shift from worry to despair. Hold This Space confronts this directly.

The experience begins by giving you the option to think about your emotions, as well as listen to the voices of others who talk about their feelings from guilt to anger. You can also hear scientists discuss the potential successful futures that their current research point towards, or even combine your emotions with the information you have learned to create your own manifesto for the local, collaborative change you could focus on.

What does the transfeminist tech oracle say?

Through sharing and emotional realism combined with scientific curiosity, Hold This Space highlights an eco-feminist principle that even our deepest hurt can guide the actions needed for intersectional resistance.

Accessibility 3.5/5

There are a few structural errors and places where colour contrast is an issue. However, most interactions are keyboard accessible and the language is clear.

Eco-check

Eco-friendly but the site is in need of a green host.

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Digital archive | Changing Natures

Who doesn’t love a community generated archive? Changing Natures, born out of a collaboration between Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde (Museum of Natural Science) and the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (National Museum of Natural History)in Paris, is exactly that, bringing personal artefacts of the anthropocene into this natural history collection.

Upload your multimedia object-based perspective or simply explore the items that have been added so far, which range from a wasp’s nest to a Bakelite telephone. I particularly like the fact that one can choose to show the entries for each object in the original language they were written in, though I think they should be in the original language by default. It would certainly make it more impactful and demonstrate the increasing participation from around the world.

What does the transfeminist tech oracle say?

There is potential to de-centre any perspective and bring a more multicultural, multinational and multispecies lens to the platform. Will you accept the challenge?

Accessibility 3/5

No major structural errors, but the text is a bit small and some of the keyboard interactions a bit fiddly. Definitely needs contributors to add alt-text descriptions of the images they upload.

Eco-check

Somewhat eco-friendly, needs a green host and to make interaction with the content quicker.

App | Ellen Reid Soundwalk

A fanfare of trumpets welcomes you on entry to Regent’s Park in London and so begins a journey narrated by the electro-infused jazz and choral chords of “Soundwalk”. With music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and sound artist Ellen Reid, this GPS-enabled sound art app aims to “illuminate the natural environment” of Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill.

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Presented by the Wellcome Collection, the app achieves this with a soundscape that provides a layer of enchantment and an occasional thrill to encounters with both the landscape and one’s fellow humanity. A particular highlight is the anticipatory stuttering crescendo as one clambers up Primrose Hill to receive an acclamation that lingers as one descends.

For the best experience, download the soundwalk before commencing.
The app is on the large side and although mostly stable, occasionally it couldn’t read my location and went silent. The interface is fairly straightforward, offering a map that pinpoints your location and highlights the “sound section” around you.

I highly recommend this to anyone, but particularly to fans of Terrence Malick films – this is like the audio equivalent. The melodies are particularly worth hearing during dusk time meanders.

What does the transfeminist tech oracle say?

Take this opportunity to muse on the connection between object, tree and motion. What new conversations and observations will you encounter?

Accessibility 3/5

Fairly simple interface and there are multiple ways of interacting with the music player. Some haptics for fully blind users might be useful.

Eco-check

The website needs a green host; it’s unclear where the app code is hosted. The download might be offset by the respective carbon neutral policies of the app stores.

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