We've seen a floating bed
in the Erie Canal, the deconstruction of a grain elevator
and rain baskets
made from inverted umbrellas... so it would only be natural to follow those art installations with 'Bat Cloud'. We've all heard that bats are having a hard time coping with modern day manmade elements. That's unfortunate because bats are an important part of our daily environment. You might recall Sarah Maurer's post on Joyce Hwang's 'Pest Wall'
? I found myself completely captivated with the bat-friendly concept and was excited to see that there were others locally who felt that building bat habitats was an important initiative. Now there's a second bat cave alternative installation being built as part of the Fluid Culture project:
Joyce Hwang: "BAT CLOUD" - with Mikaila Waters and Sharon Li (text from Fluid Culture)
BAT CLOUD is a hanging canopy of vessels that is designed and constructed to support bat habitation. From afar, the piece would appear like a cloud, hovering in the trees. Closer up, viewers from below would be able to see plants and vegetation material hanging from each vessel. At dusk, onlookers would hopefully be able to catch sight of bats as they fly out of the habitation vessels.
Bats are a critical component of our ecosystem. As a kind of natural 'pesticide,' they are important in supporting organic farming efforts. Their appetite for insects also assists in controlling mosquito populations. Yet despite their ecological significance, bats are often overlooked or seen as pests in urban environments and subsequently exterminated. Further, since 2006, bats in the northeastern part of the United States have been dying in great numbers due to White Nose Syndrome, a disease which scientists are still struggling to solve. BAT CLOUD is a project that would aim to bring awareness and greater public visibility to bats. Photo: Concept sketch
Location: Tifft Nature Preserve
Joyce Hwang is the Director of Ants of the Prairie, an office of architectural research and practice that focuses on developing creative approaches in confronting the pleasures and horrors of our contemporary ecologies. She is a registered architect in New York State and an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University at Buffalo, SUNY.