The city is no longer a concrete wasteland; thinkers and organizations are beginning to discover wilderness in vacant lots and between sidewalk cracks. Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance (iLand) is a movement-based nonprofit at the forefront of finding new approaches to the urban landscape.
On March 26 and 27, Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts hosts Connecting to the Urban Environment, iLand’s second annual symposium, which features founder Jennifer Monson’s recent work on aquifers; S+EM, a web-based map of New York City’s street trees; and Strataspore, a recent project that uses mushrooms as a metaphor to investigate urban landscapes. Renowned landscape artist Mary Miss will give the keynote talk on March 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium, 66 Fifth Avenue.
Mary Miss developed City as Living Lab, a framework for making issues of sustainability tangible through art. Miss uses her training as a sculptor to emphasize a site’s history and ecology. She has collaborated closely with architects, planners, engineers, ecologists, and public administrators on projects that have included creating a temporary memorial around Ground Zero; marking the predicted flood level of Boulder, Colorado; revealing the history of the Union Square subway station in New York City; and turning a sewage treatment plant into a public space.