The Bat-Human project is an interdisciplinary arts initiative that examines relationships between humans and animal species co-existing in urban environments – in this case, Sydney’s famous bats, the Grey-Headed Flying Fox. A team of new media artists, scientists, academics and urban planners gathered in Sydney (November 2010), to share their knowledge and alternative view points in speculating on possible futures for human-bat co-existence and urban biodiversity. These speculations were documented in various media and exhibited as the Botanic Garden Xtension at the UTS Gallery (November 2010). The lab and exhibition formed part of the Art of Participatory Design programme, co-curated by the UTS Gallery curators, Tania Creighton and Holly Williams, with Dr Lizzie Muller and Dr Lian Loke. It was a new initiative for the International Participatory Design Conference, held at UTS.
A second public event, Going Batty in the City, aimed to showcase the outcomes of the Sydney Lab and raise public awareness of the wider issues of urban biodiversity and co-existence of humans and other creatures in contested environments. It was held at Cook and Phillip Park, Sydney CBD on Friday, 29th April 2011. Event manager Victoria Johnstone. Positive Feedback promotions and publicity. For more info see http://www.remnantartlab.com/the-bat-human-event/
The Bat-Human project is part of the Remnant Emergency Artlab (http://remnantartlab.com) led by artist and researcher, Dr Keith Armstrong (QUT). It is funded by the Australia Council for the Arts, Inter-Arts ArtLab award, 2010 – 2011. My role in the project is facilitator and collaborator for the Sydney Lab. We collaborated with visiting artist Natalie Jeremijenko, xClinic Environmental Health Clinic and Lab, NYU (http://www.environmentalhealthclinic.net/), exploring the application of her xClinic methodology to local environmental issues. Her visit was funded by the ISL-HCA Academy of the Humanities and the UTS research centre for Human-Centred Technology Design.