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Exhibit gives wildlife an artistic approach

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Featuring animals around campus, the exhibition, “BioPresence,” aims to draw attention to animals that share space with human beings in urban environments.

The project particularly focuses on the diversity of the campus ecological community, according to its website.

“I’m trying to think about the community of myself and broader than myself, that means including ecosystem, creating ecosystems and maybe even just managing them better,” said Amy Youngs, the associate professor of Department of Art. “The full scope is noticing animals and noticing that humans are not only one who are here (on campus).”

In Youngs’ project, she collected 100 dead birds and focused on the issue that certain urban developments could threaten animals’ lives.

“Many birds died because of our windows, and that is kind of a planning issue,” Youngs said. “Nobody thinks about it because they don’t really know it’s a problem, so (my project) is showing them this is actually a bigger problem than we realize.”   

The exhibition intends to show human beings’ relationship with technology and how it mediates the experience with animals too, Youngs said.

“We are in the technology era. We are thinking about technology as a subject matter and something that is changing our relationship with animals and our relationship with nature,” she said.

The exhibition will include animations, robotic art, internet art, tactical media, sound works, maps, digital art, installation, video and algorithmic approaches to sensing and representing non-human beings, according to BioPresence’s website.

A map showing animal patterns on campus was also created. By scanning the map’s QR code, students will have the map on their phones as they walk around to see campus animals, Youngs said.

The hashtag #AnimalOSU can also be used on social media to contribute any observations of animals around campus.

Students and professors have been preparing this project for a year, and more than 200 students’ work has been submitted for review, Youngs said.

Jordana Bungard, a fifth-year in art and technology, created a hologram by using footage from Explore.org, a website that shows live streams of wildlife through webcams.

“(The project) is kind of showing the idea of not having to interact with nature to view it,” she said.

Bungard said that because live stream footages could be fuzzy at times, it is not as good as seeing animals in person. But exploring animals in nature can also be frustrating.

“I actually went out and filmed by myself, and it was really challenging because it could be hours and hours just being outside and not even seeing anything,” she said.

Instead of ignoring dead bodies of animals, this project brings more awareness of animals in the urban environment, and this awareness can help because people start thinking more about urban animals, Bungard said.

“It’s really interesting to go places and try to see animals, and I pay more attention now,” she said.

The exhibition will be open to the public until Dec. 16 at Hopkins Hall Gallery.

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