One way to address Earth Day this week and integrate environmental science into your art curriculum is through the interactive website Phototropism. This website allows you to create your own virtual sculptures using futuristic materials that react to environmental conditions.
Upon entering the industrial art studio, you are presented with a brief video introduction explaining phototropism in plant life. At this point you are placed among many futuristic materials to build your own sculptural plant for virtual installation (nothing is actually downloaded to your computer) . At the outdoor environment, additional sculptures can be added and repositioned to various depths along the landscape. Several random weather systems can be run that demonstrate the changes to the materials and sculptures.
Conversation with students on this topic can be taken in many directions:
- Physical advantages or limitations of art materials.
- Partership between the art and science community to design eco-friendly products.
- Responsibility of artists to use environmentally friendly products or reuse/repurpose materials.
- Discussion of Claude Monet and the impact that weather conditions and time of day had on his artwork. Take Monet into the 21st century -what would he do with these new materials?
Bring your students into a Rousseau Jungle. Although he never visited a jungle during his lifetime, Rousseau might have enjoyed using his auditory senses to create his work. Use the sounds of nature to enhance the learning experience.
Image Source: National Gallery of Art
Use the detail images below to identify animals and sounds in the jungle.
1. Pretend you are sitting in this jungle. What kind of sounds would you hear?
2. What kind of animals do you see in the painting? Can you hear any of these animals in the nature sounds played? Do you hear any other sounds that you can’t see in the painting? Do you think those animals might be there?