“The 5 x 5 Public Art Project took place in Washington, D.C. March – June 2012 in conjunction with the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

In BiodiverCITY I chose to work with five artists whose works address biodiversity both in scientific and cultural terms. The artists I selected all aim for a participatory approach. The intention was for their projects to inspire, inform and raise awareness about diverse issues related to the natural environment in the urban setting of Washington D.C. The common goal of these works was to connect people and communities aesthetically by bringing attention to the sometimes hidden relationships between city dwellers, urban nature, human and non human life forms.

Natalie Jeremijenko’s “Butterfly Bridge” created a minimal yet lyrical spectacle to provide butterflies with a helping hand over obstacles in busy traffic at an intersection in Tacoma Park, D.C. The bridge demonstrated how we can re-imagine our urban infrastructure to account for the diverse species with whom we share space and resources.

Tattfoo Tan created “p:ARK”, a large walk-able labyrinth in the open grass field at Yard’s Park, Capital Waterfront. The field was left un-mowed to grow wild with weeds, grasses and other volunteer plants as the labyrinth form emerged. Tattfoo, a Malaysian native, sees this work as a metaphor for immigration and encourages us to look at invasive plants as positive and something to be embraced rather than rejected.

“Love Motel for Insects” by Brandon Ballengée was an outdoor light installation for the Smithsonian National Zoo. The work uses ultra-violet lights on large blank fabric to attract insects and creates an opportunity for public interactions with nocturnal arthropods, which are not often seen.

Chrysanne Stathacos has been creatively investigating how wishing rituals use the natural world as the receptacle for our desires. Her work “Natural Wishing” at the Textile Museum draws on various cultures’ common basis of wishing on elements of nature, such as trees all over the world. “Natural Wishing” enabled participants to take a journey by using their own cell phone while riding a city bus or by tying a wish to a tree at various locations throughout DC.

Habitat For Artists uses the art studio as a catalyst for mutual engagement between artists and communities. HFA is a artist’s collective which includes different participants in each new iteration of the project, depending on the locale. The habitats are small, temporary, 6 by 6 foot art studios made from recycled and reclaimed materials. HFA engaged local artists, youth groups and members of the 8th Ward district at TheArc in Anacostia, D.C. to take an active role in participating both inside and outside of the habitat.”

From The 5 x 5 Project, BiodiverCITY. Posted by Amy Lipton on 3/25/2012 (153 items)

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