What does it mean to always watch? Do animals deserve the right to privacy? Students in the Princeton University course “The Visible Wild” asked themselves these questions and more this spring as they explored wildlife habitats on and near campus.
The Visual Arts/Environmental Studies course was taught by Jeff Whetstone, Professor of Visual Arts and Director of the Visual Arts Program. Students saw nature in person and Learned techniques of wildlife surveillance photography, using remote still and video cameras to monitor animal populations and their behavior. They then use this “found” content from their environmental field research Creating artwork focuses on what can be discovered by looking closely at the wildlife around us.
“A lot of people see art as something you make with your hands or something that’s beautiful, it takes a lot of skill and practice,” says Whetstone, an award-winning photographer and filmmaker. whose work Imagines America through the lens of anthropology and mythology. “In the Program in Visual Arts, we try to disabuse people of the idea that it’s really your perspective on the material, and in this case the material is camera pictures and videos that you didn’t actually take.”
At the Lewis Center Collab in May, The class shared their final work in “(In) Visible Wild,” an exhibition that included paintings, collages, small installations using materials from the forest, and looping video footage from trail cameras.
“They come away from the course with a sense of wonder at how much there is to see when you take the time to look a little more closely and What can you learn from the wild world there,” said Maya is mixedis a member of the Class of 2022 and an ecology and evolutionary biology major who is pursuing certificates in global health and health policy and planet and life and plans to pursue a career in space medicine.