HYLAEA - a video, print & rare book installation
Written by biotica   
Saturday, 01 January 2011 10:27

HYLAEA is an interactive video, print and rare book installation that seeks to reanimate the residues, record and archives of lost ecological memory. hylaeaPart ecological ghost story/part zoological bibliography, this project stems from a desire to partially awaken the resting memories of lost life forms from the extinct species cabinets of the museum and the rare book shelves of the library. My intention in seeding motion, sound, interaction and macroscopic detail across the library is for viewers to recall that within less than a century of the publication of the first written and painted records of the astounding bird life of North America, both common and mythological species became the icons of human-induced extinctions.


The HYLAEA installation project at Penrose Library is one of a series of new media works that collectively explores the language, sites, mediation and possible restoration of lost ecological memory. hylaeaThe series title HYLAEA refers to the mythical and now lost forests of ancient Greece and to Alexander von Humboldt’s explorations of the virgin neotropical forests of the Americas. The intent of this project series is to collectively bring together disparate artifacts of lost ecological memory such as the deep colors and textures of extinct birds wings; sonic translations of the DNA and proteins of missing species; and passages from the pages of endangered books that were the original published record of the exquisite lifeforms of North America. The hope is that audience engagement with such immersive experiences may re-mediate the patterns of lost ecological memory as a means of facilitating a discourse into the state of ecological consciousness during our time of cascading extinctions. 


The HYLAEA exhibition runs from October 14, 2010 thru February 14, 2011 on three levels of the Penrose Library, 2150 East Evans Avenue on the University of Denver campus. Exhibition guides and an introductory video to the collective works are available in the Penrose lobby. Library hours for viewing this installation project are available here.

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