Unnatural Developments

Currently on view at upstate New York's verdant Colgate University is an exhibition that ponders the ways in which new media artists can successfully address environmental concerns. Despite the fact that the development of new media has coincided with other ecologically devastating "developments," the works attempt to do more good than harm in "reinvent[ing] environmentalism for a digital age." Nature Version 2.0 is at the University's Clifford Art Gallery through February 16th and is curated by artists Cary Peppermint and Christine Nadir, whose EcoArtTech collaborative has brought a number of thoughtful projects to the region. In this case, an impressive handful of artists--including Natalie Jeremijenko, Brooke Singer, Joline Blais, Jane Marsching, Colin Ives, Alex Galloway, Amy Franceschini, Tom Sherman, Michael Alstad, Don Miller (aka no carrier), and Andrea Polli--merge computer science and environmental studies "by reusing and recycling obsolete technologies for new uses, and by exploring how digital spaces and the public domain may require environmental protection much like nature." On February 8th, the gallery will host a lecture by Jeremijenko and a multimedia performance by Polli, entitled "90 Degrees South." Ultimately, the show suggests that ecocriticism can be an engaging, sometimes playful, form of intervention and takes the important first step of getting people to think critically about the relationship between technology and nature. - Marisa Olson