“…nature is, strictly, a commonplace.”

–Donna Haraway, The Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inappropriate/d Others

“Far from being the one place on earth that stands apart from humanity, [wilderness] is quite profoundly a human creation”

–William Cronon, The Trouble with Wilderness, or Getting Back to the Wrong Nature

With the continuing ubiquity of physical computing and advances in wearable technologies, artists are enabled in new ways to bring new media art into expanding landscapes. This studio course will take a critical look at ideas of nature and technology, using Chicago’s urban ecosystem as a site of intervention. The course will begin with on-site exploration of Chicago’s Park Systems and other public landscapes. On- and off-campus workshops will focus on techniques of sensing and interfacing with the environment, making use of the Arduino and the LilyPad, and introducing a variety of environmental sensors and techniques of information storage and transmission. Studio work will be contextualized with critical readings, research and discussions about evolving ideas of landscape and environment. Through a series of culminating projects, students will use new media techniques to interface with Chicago’s urban ecosystems.


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