basecamp.exe (2013/14)

Basecamp.exe is a workshop-installation, a 21st-century ecological happening, and an interconnected ecosystem of new media and environmental artifacts. Created collaboratively with public participants, Basecamp.exe explores environmental awareness and experiences of the urban landscape. While traditional base-camps provide supplies for backcountry expeditions in exotic, faraway locales, Basecamp.exe creates a campsite for the modern world, comprised of digital, natural, and industrial materials collected by hikers exploring their immediate environment. You can access info about the individual artworks that comprise Basecamp.exe by scrolling down the page.

Too often “the environment” is regarded as a wild, faraway destination, and we forget the ecological connections in our own homes and backyards, on city sidewalks and interstate highways. The Basecamp.exe workshop-installation adapts the traditional base-campsite, where backpackers recharge before wilderness expeditions, for today’s complex biological-social-cultural-media landscape. Merging digital, natural, and industrial materials—campfires, computers, tents, rocks, salvaged wood, urban debris, a #wilderness twitter feed—Basecamp.exe encourages visitors to rethink assumptions about nature and to interact with the environment around them, which is usually wild beyond our wildest expectations.

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Basecamp.exe workshop with eighth-grade students from Ed Smith K-8 Elementary School, Syracuse, NY, at The Warehouse Gallery.

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Basecamp.exe begins with a set of chairs constructed out of recycled shipping palettes and a bare campsite structure that participants modify through interactions with social networking sites and the outdoors. Activities include exchanging stories around a computer-campfire built with industrial rubble, tweeting posts that enter a global archive of #wilderness consciousness inside an expedition-quality tent, documenting wild happenings in the outdoors, and collecting found unnatural objects made of natural materials for display on log displays made of recycled LCD screens, among other environmental engagements. During a wilderness excursion guided by our Indeterminate Hikes mobile app, hikers produce a series of digital documentary traces in the form of field notes, texts, tweets, and photographs that are projected onto architectural surfaces as part of our Wilderness Collider web app.

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Basecamp.exe workshop and Indeterminate Hike through downtown with eighth-grade students from Ed Smith K-8 Elementary School, Syracuse, NY.

Our projects weave into one another, like an ecological web. Basecamp.exe intertwines with our Indeterminate Hikes+ iPhone/Android hiking app, Fir Tree Combinators, and Wilderness Collider. Together, they create an interconnected network of new media, participatory eco-artworks, all of which seek to foster study and observation of the diverse ecological landscape of twenty-first-century life.

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Basecamp.exe has been exhibited in alpha form at the following venues: Whitney Museum of American Art: “Undercurrents: Experimental Ecosystems in Recent Art,” curated by Independent Studies Program Curatorial Fellows Anik Fournier, Michelle Lim, Amanda Parmer, and Robert Wuilfe, 2010 / 319 Scholes, Bushwick Open Studios, curated by Igal Nassima and Lindsay Howard, Bushwick, Brooklyn, 2012 / Parsons The New School for Design: “Art, Environment, Action!,” curated by Radhika Subramaniam, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, NYC, 2012 / The Warehouse Gallery: “Wilderness 24/7,” solo exhibition, Syracuse University, curated by Anja Chavez, 2012 / The Feast, NYC, where we collaborated with renowned physicist Geoffrey West, 2012.

 

 

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Our best buddy Tuffy often helps with indeterminate hikes and basecamp.exe-camping. Here she is at “Art Environment Action,” Parsons The New School for Design, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, in New York City, October 2012.