[June 1 – Aug 11] Becoming Biodiversity with Amy Youngs

An augmented reality application that encourages participants to explore and experience local, ecological networks present in an urban park site. Cell phones and headphones are used to experience this artwork, which includes mixed-reality animations and storytelling as an overlay to the actual park. The experience will be an embodied one, designed to connect humans empathetically with the biodiversity, symbioses, and unseen worlds in public park spaces.

June 1 – August 11 2019

Building 10A Nolan Park, Governors Island

Can our smartphones connect us with non-human life? Will we learn to participate as better citizens in the ecological commons?Fantastic ecologies exist everywhere on earth and at many scales, many of which are invisible to us. Though we mostly ignore and disrespect the non-humans in these networks, our lives depend upon them. Becoming Biodiversity is a guided tour which will allow us to inhabit the worlds of multiple species along the network, allowing them to become visible and “sense-able” to us. The viewer re-enacts stories from the perspectives of non-humans; playing the part of a plant calling out to a bird to help with pest control, an ant planting spring flowers while simultaneously feeding her babies, an underground fungal network delivering goods to struggling trees, and a cormorant searching for a meal in a man-made lake in New York City. There are 8 scenes in the tour, each takes place at Willow Lake, on the South end of Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The tour takes about 26 minutes and the one-way walk down the trail is less than a mile. You can also use the app in your local park, or on a customized iPad at the Harvestworks exhibition on Governor’s Island. GPS is not required. 

Documentation of the app:

Amy M. Youngs creates eco art, interactive sculptures, and digital media works that explore interdependencies between technology, plants and animals. Her practice-based research involves entanglements with the non-human, constructing ecosystems, and seeing through the eyes of machines. She has created installations that amplify the sounds and movements of living worms, indoor ecosystems that grow edible plants, a multi-channel interactive video sculpture for a science museum, and community-based, participatory video, social media and public web cam projects.

Youngs has exhibited her works nationally and internationally at venues such as the Te Papa Museum in New Zealand, the Trondheim Electronic Arts Centre in Norway, the Biennale of Electronic Arts in Australia, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Spain and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. She has earned an Individual Artist Grant from the Ohio Arts Council, contributed writing to interdisciplinary publications such as Leonardo, and the recent book, Robots and Art, and her work has been profiled in books such as, What’s Next? Eco Materialism & Contemporary Art. She has lectured widely, at venues such as the Australian Centre For the Moving Image in Melbourne, Australia and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN. She received a BA in Art from San Francisco State University and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2001 she joined the faculty at the Ohio State University where she is currently working as an Associate Professor of Art, leading interdisciplinary grant projects, and teaching courses in digital media, eco art, and art/science.

Collaborators: Josh Rodenberg, Danielle McPhatter, Jayne Kennedy

Web: http://hypernatural.com/portfolio/becoming-biodiversity/

Insta/Twitter: @amy_youngs



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