The Moth Project
Kaleidoscopic videos of moths and their wing patterns are projected onto solar-powered reflective tents and nearby buildings to attract both moths and curious people. Native plants and other sutiable food sources for pollinators are presented in self contained mobile gardens. The accompanying 18' solar powered "ArtLab" acts as the stage for these interactive public engagements providing hands-on activities and information on a broad range of environmental topics. The Moth Project focuses on ecological literacy and empowers audiences through citizen science and backyard naturalism that can lead to new conversations and civic action.
We have chosen to focus on moths because of their diversity (approx. 14,500 species found in the United States) and usefulness as pollinators. There is much concern over the dramatic rise in Honey Bee Depopulation Syndrome (HBDS) or Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in which worker bees from a beehive or honeybee colony abruptly disappear or die. Many do not realize the vital role bees play in maintaining a balanced eco-system. According to experts, if bees were to become extinct, humanity would suffer dramatically within four years time. Research has led me to nighttime insects or second shift pollinators for necessary food crop pollination. Moths are also a family of insects that most people know very little about, both visually and environmentally.
The Moth Project's primary goal is to collaboratively address current environmental stresses, food shortages, and wasteful practices by linking ecological issues to biology and creative operations. Our process creates projects both rigorous and poetic in conceptual processes where passive viewers become empowered participants. The Moth Project enables audiences to develop a greater understanding and appreciation for the art and science that can be found in sustainable practices while inventing new ways to connect nature with people’s everyday lives.
Accompanying field guides promote, preserve, and advance public awareness and environmental literacy. The Moth Project combines research, activism, art, and science that address probable catastrophic events with a means for short-circuiting doomsday predictions. Our aim is to extend the “knowledge of the moment;” demonstrate the fragile connection between natural world and personal action; and offer simple, positive changes that can be enacted to increase sustainability -- an activity that can be replicated long after the artists have moved on.
A past Moth Project Field Guide can be downloaded here:
Metamorphosis 4 min video of the life cycle of the Luna Moth
Download a PDF about the moth project here.
Live Recording of part of our lecture on how to help beneficial pollinators at Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam. This is one of the oldest Botanical Gardens in Europe.
Bee Vision 10 min video
© 2016. All rights reserved by Wendy DesChene and Jeff Schmuki