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Other Natures

May 17 – May 28, 2021
Across New York City
Research Question

The workshop Other Natures: Representing human/non-human relations in New York City understood New York City as a complex web of human and non-human systems, actors, alliances and effects. Nature, as it is represented in the monuments, institutions, and artworks that define public life in the city, emerges out of this already hybrid matrix. We uncovered how natural-human relations have been understood and represented in the city historically and today in both art and architecture. Looking at the institutional and the underground, expressions of power and critiques of power, we developed a collective attunement to the ways in which nature is expressed within the public culture of the city.

Key questions included:

  • How have definitions of nature and the human changed over time?
  • How have New York’s colonial, industrial, and capitalist histories shaped these categories?
  • How has public art shaped or reflected changing human-natural relationships in the city?
  • How can we expand the role of public art and architecture to reflect other possible human-natural relations?
Methodology

The workshop participants:

  1. Selected an under-represented human-natural system embedded within the fabric of New York City
  2. Researched existing cultural knowledge of this system
  3. Mapped or modeled the unique properties and behaviors of the system
  4. Designed, modeled, created, performed or enacted a work that makes this system more visible or experiential
Outputs
The workshop output made visible New York’s other natures.

Student Work

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