The TOPO-X Project: The Transitory Observation, Projection and Outreach Exploration Project

Recent Press: Article 

A collaboration between visual artist Brandon Gellis, assistant professor in the University of Wyoming’s Department of Art and Art History; J.J. Shinker, associate professor in the Department of Geography; and Meg Thompson Stanton, artist and coordinator of the Laramie Public Art Coalition

 

The Initial Project

Exploring biological extremes, through a series of video and sound works, collaborators wants to investigate the interconnected balance between the sun and water and how they influence or tax ecological success. We are exploring such questions as: How does an abundance of water redirect migratory patterns, causing explosions of biodiversity; How does the reintroduction of lost-predatory species rebalance the greater biodiversity of a region; how have flora adapted to span seasonal freezes, thriving through Wyoming winters; and how has the North American Mega Faunal Extinction altered the continual presence of horses across our landscape? 

By exploring biological extremes through a series of video and sound design projects, we can discuss the impact of changing climate through flora and fauna species that are now absent from natural landscape. For example, consider a visual representation of migratory Mammoths

 

projected on top of landscape images. As the representation of the Mammoths moves across the natural landscape, the species begins to dissolve at a rate proportional to its extinction in the late Pleistocene. 

The TOPO-X Project is an applied observation vehicle that: 1) help researcher’s gather seasonal-ecological data; 2) explore diverse natural biology and ecology; and 3) collect critical photographic, video and sound evidence of human impact on our natural landscapes.

More abstractly the TOPO-X Project is a projection and cultural outreach station, serving to assist scientific and artistic researchers to collaborate, to educate public and art enthusiasts about scientific information regarding biological diversity, and promote creative interpretations of the patterns and processes in our natural world.

 Original project prototype graphic

Original project prototype graphic