The ecoartspace blog will feature artist profiles and reviews of exhibitions, as well as writings on ecological systems. We are interested in presenting work that artists are making in collaboration with scientists, and poetics including spoken word, opera, and performative work. Painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, drawing, and printmaking are all welcome media. Speculative architecture and public art are also encourage. Submissions for posts can be sent to info@ecoartspace.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

You can access the previous ecoartspace blog HERE (2008-2019)

ecoartspace, LLC

Mailing address: PO Box 5211 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502
  • Monday, February 07, 2022 9:00 AM | Callie Smith

    MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

    February 7, 2022

    This week we recognize the work of artist  Kim Stringfellow.

    Featured is The Mojave Project, a transmedia documentary and curatorial project led by Stringfellow exploring the physical, geological and cultural landscape of the Mojave Desert.

    The Mojave Project reconsiders and establishes multiple ways in which to interpret this unique and complex landscape, through association and connection of seemingly unrelated sites, themes and subjects thus creating a speculative and immersive experience for our audience. The Mojave Project explores the following themes: Desert as Wasteland, Geological Time vs. Human Time, Sacrifice and Exploitation, Danger and Consequence, Space and Perception, Mobility and Movement, Desert as Staging Ground, Transformation and Reinvention.

    The project materializes over time through deep research and direct field inquiry through interviews, reportage and personal journaling supported with still photography, audio and video documentation. Field Dispatches are shared throughout the production period at this site and through our publishing partner, KCET Artbound. Installments include those of notable guest contributors. A program of public field trip experiences and satellite events explores the diverse communities and sites of the Mojave Desert. The initial phase of the project is designed to make ongoing research transparent, inviting the audience into the conversation as the project develops. Ultimately, The Mojave Project aims to create a comprehensive transmedia repository of knowledge relating to the contemporary Mojave Desert.

    The Mojave Project is an ongoing, multi-year endeavor culminating in a large-scale exhibition with related public programming at UNLV's Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, during spring 2022. The project was first launched for Made in the Mojave at MOAH (Museum of Art & History) in Lancaster, California, during spring 2017. Partnering with LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) through support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Fellowship program, The Mojave Project was exhibited during fall 2018. In addition, Stringfellow coordinated two Mojave Desert field trips to provide participants with an immersive on-site experience in conjunction with this exhibition. Please sign up on our mailing list for information on future events.

    Kim Stringfellow is an artist, educator, writer, and independent curator based in Joshua Tree, California. For the past twenty years, Stringfellow’s creative practice has focused on the human-driven transformation of some of the American West’s most iconic arid regions through multi-year, research-based projects merging cultural geography, public practice, and experimental documentary into creative, socially engaged transmedia experiences. These art-centered projects combine writing, photography, audio, video, installation, mapping, and community engagement to collectively explore the history of place while also examining how the landscapes we inhabit are socially and culturally constructed. In particular, she is interested in the ecological repercussions of human presence and occupation within these spaces. Stringfellow is a professor at San Diego State University’s School of Art + Design. She received her MFA in Art and Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000. Claremont Graduate University awarded her an honorary doctoral degree in 2018. kimstringfellow.com

    Featured Images: ©Kim Stringfellow, The Mojave Project (ongoing project)


  • Tuesday, February 01, 2022 8:33 PM | ecoartspace (Administrator)


    Fossil Memory, Various collected mosses and liches, springtails and dwarf isopods, soil, rocks, activated carbon, glass, water, brain coral, pillow, grow light and aquarium. 18 x 16 x 16 inches (2020) 

    An Interview with Christopher Lin by Olivia Ann Carye Hallstein

    Christopher Lin is a constructor of worlds, our worlds. His images create a vantage point into a reality where humanity no longer exists. His work sits at the cusp of the surreal and the actual often creating sci-fi-esc installations and works that use actual fossils. During times of our own dystopian reality, Christopher’s imaging relates what is real to a vision of what could be without us.

    Hello Christopher, thank you for this interview. Let us jump right in.

    Your process involves both deep research, collaboration with the past, and imagination. Would you discuss your process to create these works? 

    My practice visualizes the ecologies we create and inhabit in the Anthropocene through surreal collaborations with nature. Combining elements of scientific investigation and material exploration, I make performative sculptures and installations that incorporate familiar objects interacting in unfamiliar ways to encourage viewers to question the framework of our everyday world. More interested in the poetics of re-contextualization than representation, I collect, deconstruct, and recombine materials to create chimeras that reflect on the existential trauma of environmental anxiety. These ephemeral constructions allude to their impermanence and, by proxy, our own.


    Zuru, zuru (Drifting), Carious collected mosses and lichens, springtails and dwarf isopods, soil, activated carbon, glass bottles, water, sand, sea glass, and aquarium, 10 ½ x 16 ¼ x 8 3/8 in, 2020

    My ongoing body of work, titled Future Fossils, explores the eventuality of human absence. I have long been inspired and fascinated by fossils of extinct species in distant eras, memento moris which provoke thoughts of our own inevitable end and of the material world we will leave behind. In Future Fossils, I approach the concept of human extinction not through pessimism, but as the inevitable and unavoidable truth to our existence—one that also contains incredible beauty in its transience. Influenced by Buddhist teachings and environmental ecology, I connect fragments from both creation myths and extinction events to visualize this eventuality that is critical to understanding the whole cycle of existence from beginning to end. This ongoing project is an exploration to attain a better understanding of our place in this world both spiritually and scientifically.

    I collect, deconstruct, and recombine materials to create chimeras that reflect on the existential trauma of environmental anxiety.


    Symbiont, Non-rebreather oxygen mask and pleurocarp moss, 3 x 12 x 4 in, 2014

    In your practice as an artist, you combine real found organic elements and place them into often sterile and surreal installations. What is your goal in showcasing your environmental activism in an otherworldly form? 

    My installations are constructed in this manner to reveal the science fiction nature of today’s world, its material construction, and its values. We often look at science fiction as some kind of distant fantasy, an impossible dystopia, but we are currently living in yesterday’s science fiction. With the pace of material production and technological advances, we do not have the perspective to process the many changes that become quickly integrated into our everyday lives. A few decades ago, the idea of indoor vertical farming replete with grow lights and hydroponic systems would seem like some distant dream, but today it is not only possible but happening in many places in the world. These advances have obvious benefits but also less obvious consequences, and buried even deeper within this aspiration is a kind of dystopian metaphor of technological survival. By revealing the science fiction reality of today’s surroundings, I hope to make some of our contemporary ideas and advances more unfamiliar, despite how normal they appear on the surface, so we can better understand where we are and where we might be going.

    We often look at science fiction as some kind of distant fantasy, an impossible dystopia, but we are currently living in yesterday’s science fiction.


    Sprechgesang Institute, Homepage Image

    Perhaps with that understanding we can move towards a better future! And speech is part of that shift in focus. You are a co-director of Sprechgesang Institute which is a place for cross-disciplinary creatives to produce new language related to art. What are your hopes for the roles of language and interdisciplinary work?

    Developing an interdisciplinary language is critical to representing our contemporary world because it is so quickly changing both in its foundational ideas but also in its sounds, textures, and tastes. As a collective, Sprechgesang Institute is centered around performance as a medium to conduct cross-disciplinary experimentation, and our projects have ranged from lecture series to dining experiences to internet plays. It has been exciting to work between these nontraditional performative frameworks through the lens of collaboration and reinterpretation. Our members include a cellist, a cheesemonger, a neuroscientist, a journalist, as well as various artists, and the products of our collaborative syntheses are often resonant. Through our explorations of new in-between languages, we are searching for new forms, methods, and approaches to question conventional methods of understanding and meaning making. Recently we discussed topics of mathematics such as cellular automata and pythagorean music in Idio-Maths, a continuation of our experimental lecture series, and we are currently working on a contemporary reinterpretation of Lachrimae, a collection of variations of mourning songs from the 1600s by John Dowland, himself a plague survivor, which seems all too fitting for our current moment of prolonged loss.

    I hope to make some of our contemporary ideas and advances more unfamiliar, despite how normal they appear on the surface, so we can better understand where we are and where we might be going.


    Where we begin and end, ink, soap, water, soil, plastic vials and bubble wands, end table, and sensitive plants (Mimosa pudica), 2015



  • Tuesday, February 01, 2022 9:42 AM | ecoartspace (Administrator)


    The ecoartspace February 2022 e-Newsletter is HERE

  • Monday, January 31, 2022 9:00 AM | Callie Smith

    MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

    January 31, 2022

    This week we recognize the work of artist Stacy Levy.

    "People often think that nature ends where the city begins. My projects are designed to allow a site within the built environment to tell its ecological story to the people that inhabit it. As a sculptor, my interest in the natural world rests both in art and science. I use art as a vehicle for translating the patterns and processes of the natural world."

    "In my practice, I search for sites that provide the opportunity to make visible some of the forces at work on the site. Interested in watersheds, tides, growth and erosion, I make projects that show how nature functions in an urban setting. My previous projects have been about invisible microorganisms and their complicated relationships of eating and being eaten; spiraling hydrological patterns of a stream, mosaic of growth in a vacant lot, prevailing winds and their effects on vegetation, the flow of rainwater through a building."

    "As a sculptor making large-scale public installations in rivers, streets, parking lots, airports and nature centers, I frequently work as part of a collaborative team seamlessly merging sculpture into the architecture, the topography, and the storm water requirements of the site. For Rain Ravine (2016) at the Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (a Living Building Challenge Project), I worked with architects, landscape architects and engineers to direct all the roof rainwater through the artwork. For other previous projects installed both on and in rivers, I have worked with the Coast Guard on the Ohio River, the Army Corps of Engineers on the Schuylkill River, and city and state municipalities on the Hudson River."

    "Through intricate coordination, logistical planning, and art-making in my barn studio, my work and research gives visual form to natural processes that would otherwise remain invisible. To build these visual metaphors, I mesh the clarity of diagrams, the beauty of natural forms and the visceral sense of the site. My practice is motivated by imaging what is too small to be seen, too invisible to be considered or too vast to be understood."

    Stacy Levy is an artist who works with rain. Her projects give a home to rain on many sites: from parking lots to nature centers. She also works to make visible how watersheds are the capillaries of the land, carrying precious rainwater from sky to the sea. She works with urban streams, rivers, tides & rainwater. Her recent projects utilize storm water runoff, to make rainwater an asset to the site. Many of her projects register natural processes and changes in nature over the course of a day, a season or a several years. Levy is the Stormwater Artist-in-Residence for the City of Lancaster. She has been awarded the Henry Meigs Environmental Leadership Award, a PennFuture Award for Women in Conservation, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. stacylevy.com

    Featured Images: ©Stacy Levy, Bushkill Curtain (2011)Springside Rain Wall and Garden (2008), Rain Ravine (2016), Three Views of a River (2016), Ridge & Valley (2009), Missing Waters (2020)

  • Monday, January 24, 2022 3:24 PM | Callie Smith

    MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

    January 24, 2022

    This week we recognize the work of artist Mary Mattingly.

    Featured here is her recent project Limnal Lacrimosa, a free public art installation currently on view at 5 6th Avenue West in Kalispell, Montana, in the valley of Glacier National Park. As the days grow shorter, the installation is open Mondays from 5-6pm by appointment and now also for listening hours on Sunday evenings.

    Limnal Lacrimosa is sited in the original home of the Kalispell Malting and Brewing Company. It celebrates the richness of the valley, from the glaciers and lakes to the cultural histories of art and ceramics.

    To build the exhibition, Mattingly has been collecting snow melt and rainwater, some that has dripped through holes in the building’s roof. Cycling water through tubing just below the ceiling, she can evoke the feeling of rain inside the building. Like a large water clock, the building is a meditation on water-courses. The drips are caught in lachrymatory vessels while the sounds of the droplets hitting the containers echo throughout the space. Eventually the vessels fill, water spills onto the floor and the cycle repeats itself. The drips keep time.

    The artwork was prompted by Kōbō Abe’s novel The Woman in the Dunes, a story about two people who must forever remove sand from a building. It is also driven by the speed of geologic change in Glacier National Park, or Glacier Time. Over the course of nine (Gregorian calendar) months, the exhibition space inside of 5 6th Avenue West will transform several times.

    Mary Mattingly is known for her large-scale installations that address ecology, such as Swale, a mobile free public food forest on a barge in New York City, and an education center for estuarial plants on the Thames in London. Her photographs and sculptures are represented by the Robert Mann Gallery in New York. Her work has been exhibited at Storm King Art Center, the International Center of Photography, Seoul Art Center, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, and the Palais de Tokyo. She visited Kalispell for the first time in 2020. marymattingly.com limnal-lacrimosa.com

    Featured Images: ©Mary Mattingly, "Limnal Lacrimosa" (2021).


  • Monday, January 17, 2022 9:00 AM | Callie Smith

    MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

    January 17, 2022

    This week we recognize the work of artist  Diane Burko

    Highlighted are a selection of works from her recent solo exhibition titled "Diane Burko: Seeing Climate Change," curated by Mary D. Garrard and Norma Broude, which was on view at the American University Museum from August 28, 2021 - December 12, 2021. The exhibition was included in the New York Times' list of Best Art Exhibitions of 2021.

    "What is so amazing about my studio practice now that I’m in my 70s is the new kind of freedom I feel to do whatever - to experiment and play with new materials and tools. New possibilities opened up with my using acrylic paints instead of oils, with the current Reef project. And with the canvas repositioned horizontally - no longer vertically on a wall - has come radical changes in my process. These actions with new material and tools have introduced possibilities I had never imagined.”

    "[The World Map Series is a] 56-foot-long suite of paintings. It melds my long-time interest in cartography with my deep concern for our environment being increasingly threatened by climate change. My practice is devoted to this issue. In the early 2000’s, I first investigated the polar region’s melting glaciers. Now I’ve turned my attention to our oceans coral reef ecosystems."

    "Being that climate change is a global problem I decided to take on the whole world at once by referencing a world map of glaciers, followed with a map of all the reefs in the world. Each was formatted with a horizontal freeze going across the top, on a 50’ x 88“ canvas. One painting just seemed to lead to another variation until there were six of them. I then decided that each category needed a visual conclusion - a square 50” x 50“ for each suite. However, in June I decided each still needed an exclamation point - so I added another 2 feet to each resulting in a 56 foot long series of paintings."

    Also included in "Seeing Climate Change" was a series of lenticular prints, what Burko refers to as "time-based media."

    "This first series was created in 2017 in collaboration with Anna Tas, an artist whose métier is 'lenticular.' Together we combined her technical knowledge as well as aesthetic skills, with my on-site experience of bearing witness in the field and in research labs. These circular presentations are referential - providing multiple interpretations spanning a submarine’s 'portal' view under water, a satellite’s aerial perspective to a microscope’s revealing lens. Each piece utilizes the interactive nature of metaphor, inviting the viewer to contemplate and discover. The seductive beauty furthers the conversation about how the natural world is impacted by climate change. Technically, a lenticular print consists of 30 individual frames that are interlaced to become the dynamic image you see before you."

    Diane Burko focuses on monumental geological phenomena. Since 2006, her practice has been at the intersection of art, science and the environment, devoted to the urgent issues of climate change. Her work about glacial melt reflects expeditions to the three largest ice fields in the world. Burko is now focusing on the world’s oceans and the dramatic bleaching of coral reef ecosystems. She continually gains knowledge through visiting research labs and engaging with scientists at institutions such as the Norwegian Polar Institute, INSTAAR in Boulder, Colorado, the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in Tasmania, the Hawaiian Institute of Marine Biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Erik Cordes Lab at Temple University in Philadelphia. Burko is committed to public engagement. She makes herself available to wide audiences in an effort to convey her experiences and share her knowledge about the ways global warming impacts our planet. dianeburko.com

    Featured Images: ©Diane Burko, "Unprecedented" (2021), “Reef Map 1” (2019), "World Map Series" (2019), "From Glaciers to Reefs" (2018), "Summer Heat 2" (2020).


  • Monday, January 10, 2022 9:00 AM | Callie Smith

    MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

    January 10, 2022

    This week we recognize the work of artist Robin Lasser. Since 2004, Lasser has been collaborating with fellow artist Adrienne Pao on the Dress Tent project.

    "We are interested in the land and the body as sites of seduction. Dress Tents are a fusion of architecture, the body and the land played out through living sculpture, moving images and still photography. The Dress Tent project investigates desire from a female centered perspective and uses seduction as a vehicle to explore the relationship between the body and the land."

    By referencing modes of female representation such as “bare foot and in the kitchen” in the Picnic Dress Tent, or “mother nature” in the Greenhouse Dress Tent, the dress tents simultaneously utilize and address a history of fantasy associated with women. Through pop-culture humor, the Picnic Dress Tent examines our recreational activities in the landscape though playfully familiar scenarios that leave us to question and reexamine our flow of routine and our relationship to the body as site of cultural desire. A play on green house gasses and what it takes to be "green" in contemporary culture, the Greenhouse Dress Tent becomes a commentary on the current fashion of being “green.”

    The Ice Queen: Glacial Retreat Dress Tent, photographed at Mt. Shasta, California underneath one of the few advancing glaciers in the world, embodies the look of a sexy weather hazard/emergency worker in her white winter garb. The dress tent is a polar weather station and research lab, offering a space to ponder the earth, global warming, and glaciers. Underneath her skirt, a chorus of crickets varies their tune, in direct relationship to the climatic changes that have occurred across the globe, from the industrial revolution to the present and beyond. Overlaid upon the cricket chirping are weather reports from the locale in which the tent is stationed, as well as a weather reporter adding commentary on the ice queen's current temperature and state of mind.

    Salty Water: South Bay Salt Ponds Dress Tent, celebrates a Bay Area environmental victory: the restoration of the artificially-made salt ponds flanking the southern shores of the bay back to its original wetlands eco system. As far as changing the physical structure of southern San Francisco Bay, no industry, not even waste disposal, has had as great an impact as salt production. More of the south bay has been diked and ponded for salt than not. Salty Water Dress Tent, as an intervention in this landscape, becomes a marker for this important transition of the land back to its original state.

    Robin Lasser is an artist residing in Oakland, California. She is currently a Professor of Art at San Jose State University. Lasser produces photographs, video, site-specific installations and public art dealing with socially and culturally significant imagery and themes. Lasser often works in a collaborative mode with other artists, writers, students, public agencies, community organizations, and international coalitions to produce public art and promote public dialogue. Lasser exhibits her work nationally and internationally. robinlasser.com dresstents.com

    Featured Images: ©Robin Lasser, Dress Tents, 2004-ongoing.


  • Tuesday, January 04, 2022 9:38 AM | ecoartspace (Administrator)


    Tatter, issue 3 : Blue

    A Blue of Bioluminescence

    Photographic investigations of ostracods.

    Words and images by Margaret LeJeune.

    Under a waxing moon, my partner and I sailed our 37-foot sailboat, Bear, down the Chesapeake from Annapolis to Solomons Island. The sky was inky and the water flat calm for the last few hours. As per tradition, we set the anchor and hopped in our dinghy to go to shore for a celebratory cocktail. As we pulled away from Bear, the waters around the dinghy began to light up like fireworks reflecting in a pool. Brilliant blue light danced on the surface. This was my first experience up close and personal with bioluminescent dinoflagellates, and it spurred my cross-species creative research with this incredible light source.  

    That summer changed the way I thought about the ocean. It was the first season that we lived aboard our boat, traveling, working, entertaining, and recreating by the weather and tides. The rhythm of the sea became the rhythm of our lives, dictating our movements and moods. The bioluminescent sighting set off a flurry of synapses and a flood of curiosity that fueled my desire to better understand marine ecology and the interconnections of life. 

    The following year we added Solomons Island to our sailing itinerary again, so that I could spend more time with the sparkling seas. I returned to the same anchorage at the same time of year, excited to see the bioluminescence. I was met with disappointment. The blue was absent.


    The following fall, I returned back to my academic position at Bradley University in Peoria, IL, with a need to understand why the blue light had been snuffed from the sea. I received a grant from the university to start a new research project investigating the power of bioluminescent organisms in the field of photography. I titled the project Growing Light; and I began by culturing the dinoflagellate Pyrocystis fusiformis, which are similar to the organisms I saw in the Chesapeake Bay. These single-cell marine plankton can generate a bright blue flash of light using a luciferin-luciferase chemical reaction. This biological capacity appears to be useful for startling potential predators, and it is commonly seen in the wave action at popular tourist sites, including Mosquito Bay in Vieques, Puerto Rico and Sam Mun Tsai Beach in Hong Kong.



    Continue reading on Tatter HERE

  • Monday, January 03, 2022 9:00 AM | Callie Smith

    MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

    January 3, 2022

    This week we recognize the work of artists  Wendy DesChene and Jeff Schmuki, aka PlantBot Genetics.

    DesChene and Schmuki operate under the guise of PlantBot Genetics Inc., a parody of Big Agricultural Firms who skillfully manipulate current food production and distribution systems.

    "PlantBot Genetics combines tactical media and public space to promote critical thinking and political action on environmental issues. By imitating actual corporate practice, we underscore the potential consequences of the global corporatization of agriculture, the natural environment, and public space. Our products underscore the lack of transparency and corporate ‘grafting’ of food production and distribution by releasing humorous next-generation, robot-plant hybrids to prompt critical discussion on the environmental costs of intensive agricultural practices.”

    "If there were one word to explain what PlantBot Genetics is about, it would have to be PlantBots. Billions of people depend on what farmers do and in the future farmers will have to grow more food than they have in the past 10,000 years. We work alongside farmers to meet the demands of the future in sowing the seeds developed through synthetic biotechnology and automated chemical protection."

    “PlantBots are better suited to the 21st century. Our ability to manufacture PlantBots that can adapt and mutate to a wide range of climates will ensure unsurpassed yields. PlantBot Genetics inserts valid traits and materials from specific flora and fauna found in each locale. Several species designed by PlantBot Genetics have self-sown and contaminated the surrounding quadrants outside our lab. These rogue PlantBots may prove useful and have been captured in the following footage.”

    Wendy DesChene (Canada) and Jeff Schmuki (USA), collaborative team and married partners, began practicing asPlantBot Genetics in 2008. Each had extensive experience and awards as solo artists and both were raised with strong connections to the land around them. PlantBot Genetics create installations, interventions, and collaborations that combine activism, research, and social space in order to foster discussion and generate action in the area of ecological awareness. By linking environmental issues to a diverse array of creative operations and tactics, DesChene + Schmuki extend the “knowledge of the moment”, demonstrates the fragile connection between the natural world and personal action, and offers simple, positive changes that can be enacted to increase sustainability -- an activity that can be replicated long after the artists have moved on. monsantra.com

    Featured Images: ©PlantBot Genetics, MonsantraDinosauria,Floridada, and Spores, 2008-ongoing


  • Saturday, January 01, 2022 3:35 PM | ecoartspace (Administrator)

    The ecoartspace January 2022 e-Newsletter is HERE

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