Natalie Jeremijenko, “Rhinoceros Beetles, Kissable Frogs and other Close Encounters with Biodiverse and the Tasty Future”

thumbnailThe Climate crisis has revealed a more insidious and widespread crisis: the crisis of agency, aka: what to do in the face of shared, uncertain threat and challenging our political agency, our cultural imagination and our scientific and economic understanding. This talk asks if we might respond, not only with serious concern, but if and how our pleasures and fascinations might become a force of social and environmental transformation.

Recent public experiments, including the Cross(x)Species Adventure club, exploring possible foods and food systems that not only lessen our collective negative effect, but (exquisite) foods that improve environmental health and augment biodiversity; xAirport: re-imagining flight and flight systems to reclaim the wonder of flight and explore a form of urban mobility that reconstructs natural systems; and other projects selected from a recent survey exhibition called ”BiodiverCITY, 47: important ideas and technologies for the urban future” as they provide adventure, wonder and exploration. The projects posit that the work to re-imagine and redesign our relationship to natural systems, more-ever work that rebuilds urban ecologies, demands participatory platforms and wondrous engagement that are well suited to the irreducible complexity of socio-ecological systems and the challenging environmental issues we face. During the course of the lecture we will make some gentlemanly wagers on the possibilities and strategies for producing a bio-diverse, tasty and healthy urban future.

Named one of the inaugural top young innovators by “MIT Technology Review” Natalie Jeremijenko directs the Environmental Health Clinic, and is an Associate Professor in the Visual Art Department, NYU and affiliated with the Computer Science Dept and Environmental Studies program. Previously she was on the Visual Arts faculty at UCSD, and Faculty of Engineering at Yale University. She came to NYU as a Global Distinguished Professor, was recently a visiting professor at Royal College of Art in London, and as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Public Understanding of Science at Michigan State University. Her work was included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial of American Art (also in 1997) and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Triennial 2006-7.

The ATC series is produced by the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM) with support from CITRIS, and the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive.