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Artist Statement


BRANDON BALLENGÉE

My work attempts to blur the already ambiguous boundaries between environmental art and ecological research. When initiating a project I often solicit technological or theoretical information from field biologists, or zoological organizations. In other cases, I have collaborated with scientists to create a work. As an artist involved in wildlife preservation, global disappearances of biodiversity is both a concern and a focus.

My approach towards nature has been influenced by earlier Earth/Eco artists such as Betty Beaumont, Agnes Denes and the Harrisons. Likewise it is inspired by the political philosophies of Thomas Cole and the Hudson River School.

Over the past six years I have been studying global species decline. Currently I am a field observer for the United States Geological Survey's North American Reporting Center for Amphibian Malformation (NARCAM). I have participated in and instigated numerous wetlands surveys throughout North America.

A recent project involves working with The Gaia Institute and The New York State Museum to populate newly created waste water management sites throughout New York City with native amphibians. The amphibians will not only control mosquito populations but will act as environmental flags to help monitor the health of the wetlands.

All aspects of the project are being documented and will be exhibited in installation format and as a website in the future. The data obtained from this kind of field work is transformed into a visual dialogue that becomes a conceptual form of environmental outreach.

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