Basecamp.exe is a workshop-installation created collaboratively with public participants exploring the ecology of urban landscapes with our Indeterminate Hikes+ mobile application. While traditional base-camps provide supplies for backcountry expeditions in exotic, faraway locales, Basecamp.exe creates a campsite for the twenty-first century, comprised of digital, natural, and industrial materials collected by hikers exploring their immediate environment.
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.
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.
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.
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.