Strange Attractor – 2007-2009

Strange Attractor is an experiment into the intersection of human and insect aesthetics and the role of technology in mediating the interaction between humans and animals. Strange Attractor consists of a modular system of artificial flowers through which the visual preferences of wild butterflies can be explored. Different flower designs are tested by recording how frequently the butterflies visit each design. To be considered successful the designs must simultaneously provoke a human aesthetic aesthetic response and become part of the physical ecosystem of the butterflies. By using flower designs inspired by the visual artwork of famous human artists the project engages the human observer in the biosemiotic relationship between flower and insect. Strange Attractor is a conceptual example of how humans can engage in a process of design incorporating both human and non-human needs and co-existence.

Modular Design

Designs Inspired by Famous Human Artists

Do butterflies prefer Van Gogh or Warhol? Why would they have a preference either way? Are there commonalities in a person’s appreciation of flowers and a butterfly’s?

Exhibition / Press History

  • Page St. Community Garden – San Francisco, USA – 2009 (poster pdf)
  • NASA Ames Research Center – Yuri’s Night Bay Area – Moffett Field, California, USA – 2008
  • Postmasters Gallery – Natalie Jeremijenko’s OOZ Garden – New York, USA – 2007
  • Interactive Telecommunications Program Spring Show – New York, USA – 2007

Other Documentation

Photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

Strange Attractor at NASA Ames Research Center for Yuri’s Night. Photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid.

Installation at Page St. Community Garden in San Francisco