I create situations that make visible – and palpable – the connections between the human and non-human. Through the construction and display of partially mechanized ecosystems, I place the human into relationships that require their participation, along with the actions of others. Immersed within interactive artworks, or in domestic-scale ecosystems that include machines, plants or animals, the human experiences self as a mutually dependent being, intermeshing and intermingling with the non-human parts.
Preparing for cohabitation with living, domestic ecosystems, I constructed a technologized couch that allows humans to appreciate the amplified sounds of composting worms moving through soil, a dining table that invites worms to share meals and an indoor mini farm with edible fish. Worm-activated, sun-powered, automated waste processing units embedded in the living room, office or gallery might appear to be objects of art or design, but their ambitions are to give birth to a future that will enable a flourishing of interdependencies.
Currently, I’m leading BioPresence #AnimalOSU, a participatory project on the Ohio State University campus designed to encourage awareness of the other-than-human animals that share space with us. Social media hashtagging, mapping, blogging, unconventional events, student projects and art exhibitions are being deployed as methods of calling attention to, empathizing with, and planning for, inhabitants that normally are not noticed on an urban campus.