Brandon Ballengee



Medium: Multi-media ecological art

Artist Statement

As an artist, biologist and environmental educator, my concerns are for communities both human and non-human affected by the ecological impacts of the Anthropocene. Today’s environmental problems are global in scale and complex. To face this milieu of issues, we need the creativity of artists, scientists and those focused on other disciplines combined to creatively address such challenges we and other species currently face.

For my projects I collaborate with diverse communities of varied age groups, specialists (in art and science) and locals to create trans-disciplinary works through participatory science programs resulting in actions and installations. Such works are collectively researched by interdisciplinary groups and often physically built from local collected biological and other materials.

The underlying goal of my art is to increase overall awareness that each of us as individuals are part of and can make a difference to our biological community.

The art itself is made from diverse mediums including large-scale light sculptures to spotlight arthropod diversity along with trans-species happenings, living plants and animals displaced in temporary enclosures to highlight local flora and fauna, large-scale high-resolution scanner photographs, micro-imaging and billboards of unique organisms to represent the individuality of non-human individuals, and many others.

With my public art series “Love Motels for Insects”, I create bug inspired glowing sculptures and pollinator gardens that integrate the surrounding architecture, creating, for city residents, a sense of awareness of their local ecosystem. Conceptually, the “Love Motels” create opportunities for the public to interact and focus on important pollinator and other arthropod species, which are often underappreciated or completely ignored in cities. During the day butterflies, bees and other beautiful pollinators visit the installation, attracted by native pollinator plants, while at night, moth, caddisflies and other nocturnal arthropods hang out on the sculpture, attracted by the softly glowing UV lights. Such insects are important ecological indicator species, telling us about the health of our local environments. By inviting people to bug watch, I hope to show them an essential side of nature that many have never seen, using art as a means to engage them in a larger dialogue on ecological issues.