Field Guide

Field Guide is a work that explores the reorganization of scientific language. The natural world is re-created using the text, images, and sound from Peterson’s book, A Field Guide to the Birds, and the journal, The Philosophy of Science. The result is an immersive experience within the pages of these texts, a walk through the woods, an exploration of the sights and sounds found there. It was originally conceived as a three channel synchronized video installation with 5.1 surround sound.

Field Guide at SU
Field Guide, with two channels of synchronized video and 5.1 surround sound, exhibited at the SUart Galleries, Syracuse, NY in 2012.

As the philosopher Heidegger said, “Language, by naming beings for the first time, first brings beings to word and to appearance.” As the field guide to birds categorizes and illustrates through text, pictures, and sounds, the writings in the journal “critique the logic and language” of science and philosophy. As a result, the woods, a place where many people go for meditation and to clear away the constructed world, is reveled as another constructed world. To go into the woods and seek a more primal meaning for existence yields a field guide that “speaks” the world itself into existence.

Field Guide installed at SU
Field Guide installed at SUart Galleries, 2012
Field Guide Remix at Earlville Opera House
Field Guide Remix, which includes 7′ suspended prints, two channels of video, and 4 channels of sound, exhibited at the Earlville Opera House, Earlville, NY in 2012.
Prints with Projections
Field Guide Remix at the Earlville Opera House

This project is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts‘ Electronic Media and Film Finishing Funds grant program, administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.

This project is also made possible in part by the Artist in Residence program at the Institute for Electronic Arts (iea) at Alfred University. 

Three channel mock up: