What is the Pandemic Nature Project?



Why did you make this?
How did you make this?
What is your background?

Conceived and created during the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020, the Pandemic Nature Project is a collection of personal creative and critical activity fashioned during the long months of social distancing, mask wearing, collective fear, and global mourning that defined the year. The “Nature” part of the title references both the nature imagery that features prominently in the project as well as the accompanying ideas about the “nature of life” during a global pandemic.

Three reasons come to mind, and this site is an attempt to try and bring these various ideas together.

1) During this period I read a lot of what can reasonably be considered post-apocalyptic critical theory (Baudrillard, Adorno, Zizek, etc.).  The more academic components of this project are informed by juxtaposing these thinkers with 2020’s constant stream of anxiety fodder.


2) During this period I also leaned hard into three personal hobbies - hiking, creating media, and playing analogue synthesizers.  The more creative parts of this project are, in part, an effort to blend these interests into some kind of coherent whole.


3) During this period I often felt an unexpected urgency to document what was going on in both my own life and the world.  This spawned a lot of questions about the intersection of media creation, private/public memory, and autoethnography. The more personal components of this project reflect this.

Cameras: iPhone 11 Pro, GoPro Max, Trawo Apeman A100

Software: Adobe Premiere & Photoshop, iMovie, Audacity, WavePad, Zyro web editor

: Korg Minilogue, Korg Monologue, Korg Volca Beats, Korg Volca Modular, Moog Animoog app for iPad, Moog Model 15 app for iPad

I am a Communication Studies professor whose academic work focuses on rhetoric and new media.

I have dabbled in electronic music production and video creation/editing since the late 1990s.  If you are curious, you can check out some of my work on YouTube, Soundcloud, or Bandcamp.

I've always enjoyed spending time in nature, but in 2019 started hiking with increased regularity and for longer stretches of time. I've written about some of the places I have been, which you can find at my Medium site.