Man is an inveterate and incorrigible meddler, never content to leave anything as he finds it, always seeking to alter and as he sees it to improve. -Christopher Lever
Unmanaged fragments of the non-human natural world exist in every human-transformed environment on the planet. Is it possible to consider the unbridled offspring of human introduced plants and animals wild? If not, how should we define these familiar but ill-defined cousins of what is conventionally called nature? This everyday version of nature, which I define as The Re-Natural Environment, is a conglomerate of native and introduced species that have managed to remain, or reinsert themselves, in the interstitial spaces of human-dominated landscapes.
Through my work, I provide opportunities for people to notice, find value in, and develop positive relationships with everyday fragments of "wild" nature. Projects that employ documented observations, public interventions, and participatory models of re-environmental programs materialize as exhibitions, sanctioned and unsanctioned public projects, websites, and multi-media presentations. Of particular interest are examples of our direct effect on the non-human natural world, how non-human nature is evolving to respond to our domineering presence, and strategies to encourage a shift away from destructive models of interaction with the plants and animals that we encounter in our everyday lives.
In these various engagements with the Re-Natural Environment, I am dedicated to maintaining an art practice that engages people in spaces both inside and outside conventional art-specific sites and situations. I work to garner participation from audiences that are not necessarily acclimated to contemporary art practices. By adopting the role of facilitator of interaction, I attempt to create spaces that can best be described as alternate experiences of everyday situations. Within these spaces, the viewer/participant is given the opportunity to reexamine their relationship with the unmanaged plants and animals we live side by side with.
-Brian D Collier