Center for Wildness and the Everyday–Texas Node (2011)

Artwork about water commissioned by the University of North Texas during a residency with the College of Visual Arts and Design.

Full Description

The University of North Texas (UNT) College of Visual Arts and Design invited ecoarttech to a one-year research residency as part of its annual Fluid Frontier symposium on water issues and art during the 2009-2010 academic year. The residency culminated with an exhibition at the UNT Art Gallery and with a new media artwork focusing on water in the Dallas/Forth Worth metroplex. The resulting exhibition and internet work, titled Center for the Wildness and the Everyday (CWE), engaged UNT artists and faculty from the departments of studio art, environmental sciences, biology, art education, and philosophy.

The inspiration for our work was the Soil Conservation Services Retarding Pond #16 (SCS#16), a reservoir constructed to prevent flash floods in Denton, TX. In this highly managed modern hydraulic infrastructure, both cultural and ecological diversity have found a home: flora and fauna have taken up, and local Denton citizens, especially low-income and Latino communities, have found SCS#16 a convenient location for fishing and swimming. In other words, SCS #16 is a hydraulic infrastructure, ecological habitat, and urban nature retreat all in one, making it an excellent case study for ecoarttech’s interest in how “wild” happenings can “overflow” official plans in the convergence of social, cultural, mental, and biological landscapes. ecoarttech took inspiration from this ecological habitat to create an exhibition and internet work that was “un-disciplined,” working with the UNT community to create a meditation on SCS#16 that incorporated performance, internet art, digital video, ceramics, installation, digital imaging, animation, web-based Java applications, geo-tagged Google maps, and photography. One of the central works within CWE was “Untitled Algae for Media Players,” which manifested both online and off. In the UNT Gallery, four portable media players float in glass bowls in a stock tank of algae cultivated from SCS Lake #16. The media players detail microscopic images of the algae interspersed with landscape images of the area surrounding the lake. UNT graduate students in Biology supplied the microscopy images.

Work metadata

  • Year Created: 2011
  • Submitted to ArtBase: Wednesday Oct 19th, 2011
  • Original Url:
  • Work Credits:
    • Leila Nadir, co-creator
    • Cary Peppermint, co-creator
  • Collective: ecoarttech
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