Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint have been working together for over a decade to investigate contemporary experiences of food, ecology, media, and memory. Working simultaneously as artists, teachers, and critics, and sometimes known as EcoArtTech, they create participatory situations and social sculptures that facilitate recovery from a cultural memory disorder that they call “industrial amnesia.” Through open-ended, experimental collaborations with the public, their projects bring endangered food and environmental practices into poetic visibility, feeling-perception, and the simple acts of everyday life and have taken form as architectural interventions and urban wilderness tours, net art and public performances, scholarly articles and poetic essays. Leila and Cary have earned support from Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Center for Land Use Interpretation, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, K2 Family Foundation, Culture Push, Franklin Furnace Fund, and numerous academic fellowships. Their performances, exhibitions, and lectures have taken place at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Postmasters Gallery, New York University, 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.
Leila Nadir is an Afghan-American critic, scholar, artist, and creative writer, and lecturer in Sustainability and Environmental Humanities 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, Big Red and Shiny, 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 personal website, click here.
Cary Peppermint’s solo art performances were some of the first to examine the effect of online spaces on the ways we imagine 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 an Associate Professor in the department of Art and Art History at University of Rochester.