Photo: Emilie Baltz

Natalie Jeremijenko

Redesigning our relationship to natural systems, wrestling rhinoceros beetles, launching the Urban Space Station and other Cross(x)Species Adventures

Date 1/24/11

Affiliation Artist, New York, NY


* This lecture is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Stephen Wilson, media artist and professor SFSU, who spoke in the series in 2002 and passed away last week. *

The 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 Hewit Smithsonian Design Triennial 2006-7. In 2010 Neuberger Museum produced a solo exhibition surveying recent work, entitled Connected Environments, and another solo exhibition entitled X opened in November, 2010 at the University of Technology Sydney. Current exhibitions include: Alter Nature: Designing Nature – Designing Human Life – Owning Life at Z33 in Hasselt; ; EXPOSED Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera Since 187 at SFMOMA/TATE Modern; Certified Copy at the VERBEKE FOUNDATION; Eat Me! at Postmasters Gallery, New York and “(Re)designing Nature.(Re)designing Nature @ Kuenstlerhaus Vienna in addition to the Mortality exhibition at Australian Center for Contemporary Art.

-- As of 1/24/11

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