Thursday, December 21, 2017

Natural Discourse: Artists, Architects, Scientists & Poets in the Garden

Jenny Kendler
Bewilder (Deimatic Eyespot Camouflage) 2016-2017
Living Proof: Flora, Fauna & Fossil Fuels
Space 151, San Francisco
Opening January 13, 2018. 5-8pm

"Jenny Kendler has printed wallpaper and fabric composed of thousands of collaged photographs of butterfly and moth eyespots. These bullseyes of color and form are thought to protect winged insects by frightening or confusing predators. In the Bewilder project, this deimatic camouflage becomes something new. Visitors are given eyespot temporary tattoos and invited to pose for a portrait in front of the brilliantly colored pattern. These colored marks confuse the digital gaze — just as butterflies' spots confuse predators — and disrupt facial-recognition software, creating a new type of camouflage for the modern, digital world of privacy loss and online tracking."
Natural Discourse: Artists, Architects, Scientists & Poets in the Garden’ is an ongoing series of symposia, publications and site-specific art installations that explore the connections between art, architecture and science within the framework of botanical gardens and natural history museums.

Natural Discourse began as a collaborative project between the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley (UCBG) and a multi-disciplinary group of artists, writers, architects and researchers who were invited to spend time in UCBG’s extraordinary collection of plants, engage with the horticulturalists and develop new site-specific work. 
The resulting exhibit was on view in the garden’s collection from July 2012 to January 2013. From 2012 to 2017 six day long Natural Discourse symposia combining artists and scientists have been held at UCBG, the LA County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, The LA County Natural History Museum, the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum and the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. In 2016, the exhibit Digital Nature: An evening of Techno-Botanical Art in the Garden was held for two nights at the LA County Arboretum.

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