Monday, January 28, 2008

EcoArtTech Collaborative on the Complex Relationship of Human, Environment & Machine

--art + architecture + design--

Environmental art has gone through many a transformation in the last four decades. Today, there are new artists and collaborations within the environmental art movement that are pushing the boundaries and addressing the changing perspectives in the field. One excellent example is the EcoArtTech collaborative.

EcoArtTech is an intriguing collaborative exploring the intersection of art, technology and environment (theory, philosophy and activism). Formed in 2005 by Columbia University doctoral candidate Christine Nadir and artist Cary Peppermint (who is in the Whitney and New Museum collections amongst others), the collaboration is intended to produce art that explores the "environmentality" of modern life - meaning everything from the shifting influence of global issues on local interests, to the relation of digital to natural environments. The duo does not shy away from asking big questions in their work like "critiques of nature and wilderness as viable categories to ground environmental ethics" or "the question of weather human use of technology is ecologically a fault or a strength."

The ambitious objective of EcoArtTech is to imagine a meaningful and "sustainable" relationship between humans, their environments and technologies. The duo began working together in 1996 and exhibiting together in 2004. The site is their collaborative platform for digital environmental art and has a wonderful collection of links to exciting events in the field worldwide as well as digital video and audio art produced by the collaborative and others.

For more information and to experience their work, go to - see excerpt below of recent installation "Energy Bridge"

-recent work-

“Energy Bridge” will involve two locations for viewing and data collection: a backwoods, rural environment on a 50 acres in the central mountains of Maine and a public park or interior, gallery space in the urban environment of NYC. The project is a solar-powered, computer-driven, interactive, digital video installation that measures energy in each respective locale by way of sound, motion, and heat sensors and then translates that data into online, real-time, dynamic quicktime video representations. The real-time, accumulated “energy-data” then directly controls and affects the speed and database content selection of the video installation. Solar energy will fuel the entirety of this project.

At each respective location, a display computer will be located and positioned for public viewing, e.g. a gallery space in Manhattan and along an accessible hiking trail in the Maine mountains. Each display computer will simultaneously play two quicktime videos juxtaposed alongside one another. Quicktime video #1 will be culled from a pre-recorded video database of 50 one-minute video clips comprised of rural landscapes. Quicktime video #2 will be culled from a pre-recorded video database of 50 one-minute video clips comprised of urban landscapes.

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