Working collaboratively as EcoArtTech since 2005, new media art duo Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint study the environmental imagination–from nature and built spaces to the mobile landscape and electronic environments–in the afterglow of modernization. Merging their diverse skills and disciplinary training, Leila and Cary’s projects explore senses of place in industrialized, digitized, and urbanized culture, merging old with new: biological systems, primitive technologies, ancient meditation practices, nineteenth-century narratives about nature, theories of modernity, and new media technologies. Their projects have taken the form of architectural interventions and urban wilderness tours, net art and public performances, scholarly articles and poetic essays, earning awards from New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Franklin Furnace Fund, Joya: Arte y Ecología, and numerous university fellowships. EcoArtTech performances, exhibitions, and lectures have taken place at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Postmasters Gallery, 319 Scholes, Smackmellon Gallery, Exit Art, U.C.L.A., M.I.T. Media Lab, ISEA 2012, Banff New Media Institute, European Media Art Festival, Parsons The New School for Design, and the Neuberger Museum of Art, and their work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum, Walker Art Center, Rhizome.org, Turbulence.org of New Radio & Performing Arts, and Cornell University Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art. Recent interviews with Leila and Cary have been pushed in VisualMAG, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Furtherfield.org.
Leila Nadir is an Afghan-American critic, scholar, artist, and creative writer, and teaches environmental humanities courses in the Sustainability and Digital Media Studies programs at the University of Rochester. She earned her PhD in English from Columbia University in 2009, where she studied environmental thought, critical theory, and contemporary literature, and was Andrew Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow of Environmental Humanities at Wellesley College in 2010-2011. Her essays, reviews, and scholarship about natural, built, and digital environments appear regularly in academic journals, such as Leonardo, Antennae, Cather Studies, and Utopian Studies, and in popular print and online magazines, including American Scientist, North American Review, Hyperallergic, Furtherfield, and Rhizome.org. In 2011, the Society for Utopian Studies awarded her its Eugenio Battisti Award, and early in 2007 its Arthur O. Lewis Award, for her scholarship connecting the fields of environmental studies and utopian thought. For Leila’s full bio as writer/editor, click here.
Cary Peppermint’s solo art performances were some of the first to examine the effect of online spaces on the ways we imagination the environment and have been exhibited by the Whitney Museum (New York), Moving Image Gallery (New York), Pace Digital Gallery (New York), M.I.T. Media Lab (Boston), International Symposium for Electronic Art (Chicago), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Center for Contemporary Art (Scotland), European Media Art Festival (Osnabrück), Itaú Culturales (Sao Paulo), the Kitchen (New York). Described by Artforum as “twenty-first-century takes on Warhol’s Factory,” Peppermint’s early work has been chronicled in Alex Galloway’s Protocol (MIT Press, 2004), Jon Ippolito and Joline Blais’s At the Edge of Art (Thames&Hudson, 2006), and Mark Tribe and Reena Janna’s New Media Art (Taschen, 2006), among other critical texts. He is currently Assistant Professor of Digital Art at University of Rochester. Visit restlessculture for an archive of his net art performances from 1997 to 2003.
The brilliant people we have been working with lately
Polina Koronkevich Hamje (left) is the software developer for both the Android and iOS versions of our urban hiking app Indeterminate Hikes+. Based in Austin, Texas, she’s been coding professionally since graduating from Colgate University in 2007. When she’s not busy on her computer or playing with her kitties, you can find her on the banked track playing roller derby with the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls or having a dance party. She is a software developer based in Austin, Texas. She’s been coding professionally since graduating from Colgate University in 2007. When she’s not busy on her computer or playing with her kitties, you can find her on the banked track playing roller derby with the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls or having a dance party.
Ian Wilson (right) has helped make possible many ecoarttech works and exhibitions, including Wilderness Collider, a real-time web app that mashes up the digital data gathered by Indeterminate Hikes participants. Ian is a musician, programmer, and artist, who works primarily as a web developer and creative programmer. He immerses himself in the ideology surrounding open source and hacker culture, and believes that openness and shared knowledge are crucial to fostering the creative spirit in any discipline. He works in languages and platforms like Python and Django, PHP, Java, Arduino, and soldering irons. Having originally learned to love music on the piano and saxophone, Ian is an active drummer, composer, guitarist, and vocalist, and he makes up one third of a progressive, keyboard-driven rock band. He is always on the lookout for talented individuals from whom he can learn and with whom he can create.
Joya: arte + ecología has been collaborating with us on projects in Europe, including at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga and AlhóndigaBilbao in Spain. Joya is an arts organisation based at Cortijada Los Gázquez in the heart of the Parque Natural Sierra María-Los Vélez in the north of the Provincia de Almería, Andalucía, Spain. The guiding principle behind the activities of the organization is to facilitate, through production and collaboration, art that manifests a discourse with the environment and sustainability. Simon and Donna Beckmann (left, center) are artists and co-founders of Joya and co-directors of the Cortijada Los Gázquez creative retreat / eco-guesthouse. Gonzaga Gómez-Cortázar Romero (right), a photographer who also works in film, is Joya’s Communications Coordinator. For more info about Joya, visit http://www.losgazquez.com/en/joya/. To see the Indeterminate Hike+ that Gonzaga lead at AlhóndigaBilbao, check out this video: http://vimeo.com/54363903.