[June 1] Beyond Human: Art & Tech Connections in Urban Parks Panel

Can technology help us connect with the non-human worlds within New York City parks? Hear artists Amy Youngs, Dylan Gauthier and Julia Oldham present and discuss their new projects focused on noticing, experiencing, and caring about the ecosystems present in the parks. Through augmented reality apps, 360 media, digital field guides and sci-fi adventures, these artists are exploring new ways for humans to interact with our local biological communities.

Date: June 1. Time: 3pm – 4:30

Governors Island Swale house  Nolan Park

Although technology is sometimes considered an unwelcome invasion in natural places, it can also be an effective tool for noticing, experiencing and caring about the ecosystems present in the New York City Parks. Artists Amy Youngs, Dylan Gauthier and Julia Oldham utilize augmented reality apps, 360 media, digital field guides and sci-fi adventures to challenge assumptions about its use and about the purity of nature. Instead of measuring, capturing, or extracting, technological tools are used to create artworks that encourage human engagement with non-human places and to help us understand them through different lenses.

Julia Oldham is an Artist-in-Residence at the New York City Urban Field Station, where she is creating a series of altered 360-degree landscapes of New York City. She is interviewing park volunteers and stewards about their ideas for an ideal future city that blends nature and urban landscape in ways that are not technologically possible yet. Using the tropes of post-apocalyptic video games and high-tech architectural concept art, she will translate their dreams into visual reality, with the ultimate goal of making these undiscovered cityscapes available online to the public.

Dylan Gauthier, also a New York City Urban Field Station Artist-in-Residence this year, is exploring the parks’ 51 “Forever Wild” Sites and launching a multi-media publication series inspired by field guides. Many of these now protected ‘forever wild’ sites were once something else — industrial sites, toxic sites, landfills, agricultural land, which shows layered history of the human hand. His project will comprise 51 interrelated works, taking the form of printed handbooks, 360 degree videos, web-text, maps, interactive events, and installation-based forms.

Amy Youngs, an Artist-in-Residence at Harvestworks, also spent time at the New York City Urban Field Station while researching her project Becoming Biodiversity. This augmented reality application encourages participants to explore local, ecological networks present at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Viewers inhabit the worlds of multiple species through a mixed-reality guided tour accessible through a cell phone app. The experience is designed to connect humans with the biodiversity, symbioses, and layered histories in this public park space.

Amy Youngs is collaborating with Josh Rodenberg, Danielle McPhatter and Jayne Kennedy

This event brings these artists together to discuss their independent, yet related projects and adds their voices to the growing conversation about the importance of art, technology, and environmental science coming together at research field stations. Harvestworks and the New York City Urban Field Station recently co-published Common Ground: Art, Data, and Ecology at New York State Field Stations, a report that provides an overview of opportunities, resources, and potential for collaboration between the arts and environmental science to inform the public and benefit communities.

Julia Oldham:

Web: https://www.juliaoldham.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juliaoldham

Insta: @juliaoldham/

Amy Youngs:

Web: http://hypernatural.com

Insta: @amy_youngs

Dylan Gauthier:

Web: http://work.floatingcity.us/

Insta: @dgoats/

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