MIT Media Lab [E14], 6th Floor, Room 633, 75 Amherst Street, Cambridge, MA
[Media Lab Map] Cary Peppermint and Leila Nadir cofounded ecoarttech in 2005 to explore convergent media, technology, and environments. Cary and Leila work interdisciplinarily, drawing on ideas and methodologies from digital studies, philosophy, literature, ecological science, critical/cultural studies, and art. For ecoarttech, the term “environment” does not refer only to nature or geographic spaces but rather to interwoven networks of biological, cultural, mental, and digital spaces. The health of each is indistinguishable from the health of others. As Gregory Bateson writes, the planet is part of humans’ “eco-mental system”: “if Lake Erie is driven insane [by pollution], its insanity is incorporated in the larger system of your thought and experience.”
Ecoarttech’s latest work, Indeterminate Hikes, is an Android app that guides users through the “wilderness” of urban spaces. The IH trail database directs hikers to a series of Scenic Vistas, where they have the opportunity to contemplate nature or wildness in a globalized, urban space and the overlapping terrains of psychological and environmental ecologies. Through the experience of taking a walk and slowing down in the city, Indeterminate Hikes seeks to cultivate the imagination of ecological and cultural sustainability in modern, networked environments.
In 2009, ecoarttech completed two internet-based works: Untitled Landscape #5, a commission for the Whitney Museum of American Art, which disrupted the digital “landscape” of the Museum’s homepage with fluctuating orbs of light created through online visitation data; and Eclipse, a New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. commission for Turbulence.org, which explores simultaneously the U.S. myth of wilderness, the politics of ecological pollution, and the information “pollution” generated by social networking sites.
Leila earned her Ph.D. in literature from Columbia University in 2009 and is currently Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in Environmental Humanities at Wellesley College. She has published scholarly essays on digital art, environmental studies, and American literature. Cary holds an M.F.A. from Syracuse University and is an assistant professor at Colgate University where he teaches courses in the theory and practice of digital art.
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