UVA Arts, University of Virginia

Vol 03 Fall 15 Library
Studio Art


Last spring, some small stars hit the big screen to highlight the importance of a biodiverse ecosystem in a world of light-drenched urban environments. As part of a mini-residency sponsored by the University of Virginia Visual Arts Board, a unique presentation featured internationally renowned artist, engineer, inventor and educator Natalie Jeremijenko, highlighted by a special presentation entitled Moth Cinema. Jeremijenko, who boasts an extensive background in biochemistry, engineering, and environmental science, was hailed by Fast Company in 2011 as one of the most influential women in technology and named one of the inaugural top young innovators at MIT. She focuses much of her work on the ways in which we as humans can positively change our relationships to our environments, which is what her Moth Cinema is all about. “A silver screen is illuminated at night,” she said, “just after sunset. The beam of light shines over the plantings, which attracts moths who cast dramatic shadows as they play out their nightly dramas of love, survival and cross species mystery. The moth ‘celebrities’ become leading lights, guiding us toward a new healthy and biodiverse urban ecosystem, one on which our own health critically depends.”

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