I am very excited to be teaching an experimental EPSCOR/NSF-funded course at RISD this semester, along with the ecological designer Bryan Quinn. It’s called Ecocentric Practices:
Marine ducks travel great distances, inhabit multiple ecosystems, and are susceptible to a variety of human-related threats that have likely led to recent and drastic population decline in many species. Working closely with wildlife biologists, emerging technology, and data sets, studio participants will explore alternative methods to communicate ecocentric themes related to marine duck populations through studio work, field observation/study in coastal Rhode Island, and interaction with a diverse group of artists, designers, and scientists.
This studio is open to all mediums and no technical experience is required. However, we will spend time with geospatial systems (such as GIS) and open source tools such as Python and Processing. Theoretical grounding will be provided through readings of key texts in ecology, geography, data visualization, media theory, philosophy, illustration, and a survey of the wide range of artistic and design practices engaged with the biosphere. Students will also utilize to-be-determined hardware capable of collecting scientific data.
Students will work in a workshop-type environment that leverages individual interests. Student projects will encourage public dialogue about marine ducks. Student work will be compiled for a public exhibition at the end of the course.
These photos come from our first field trip, observing ducks on Bold Point and at Sachuest with Peter Paton of URI.