Jonathon Keats

Premiere DateMar 14, 2017
00:00 Introduction
00:36 Jonathon Keats
02:19 sHOULD hAvE kNOwN Nnamdi Ogbannaya
06:19 GPS for Birds (disoriented by climate change)
16:40 Experimental Philosopher
28:58 Sex Toys For Flowers (deprived of natural honeybee pollination)
37:28 Wearable Technology
45:46 HWT __ nO nEeD Nnamdi Ogbannaya
47:37 Finish

Jonathon Keats was stated as being a “poet of ideas” by The New Yorker and a “multimedia philosopher-prophet” by The Atlantic. Jonathon Keats is an artist, writer and experimental philosopher based in San Francisco and Northern Italy. His conceptually-driven interdisciplinary projects explore all aspects of society through science and technology. He has installed a camera with a thousand-year-long exposure – documenting the long-term effects of climate change – at Arizona State University; opened a photosynthetic restaurant serving gourmet sunlight to plants at the Crocker Art Museum;  and attempted to genetically engineer God in collaboration with scientists at the UC Berkeley.

Exhibited internationally, Keats’s projects have been documented by PBS, Reuters, and the BBC World Service, garnering favorable attention in periodicals ranging from Science to Flash Art to The Economist. In recent years, he has lectured at institutions including UC Berkeley, Stanford University and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which recently awarded him a 2015-16 Art + Technology Lab Grant.

All photos courtesy of Jonathon Keats.

Jonathon Keats, GPS for Birds (Conceptual Model), 2017. Mixed Media.

Birds use Earth’s magnetic field to guide their flight path. However geomagnetism is relatively weak, and easily overridden by other sources of magnetism at close proximity. Research has shown that magnets can affect birds’ internal compasses. In this experimental prototype, a magnet has been attached to a toy airplane, influencing the compass needles beneath it, providing an alternate north-south orientation for birds to follow.

Jonathon Keats, Air Traffic Control Towers for Birds (National Grid), 2017. Inkjet Print.

Large cities on migratory flyways may imperil birds. Light and electromagnetic pollution can be disorienting, and urbanization may deprives them of habitat for roosting. By electromagnetically manipulating compass directions, air traffic control towers can steer birds around cities or even entire regions. This satellite map of the United States at night reveals where urbanization is most pronounced by showing where artificial light is most concentrated. The superimposed compasses show potential alterations to the geomagnetic field that will reorient flyways around human developments.
Base Map Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory

Jonathon Keats, Air Traffic Control Towers For Birds (Experimental Prototype), 2015-17. Mixed Media.

Jonathon Keats, Sex Toys for Flowers, 2017. Mixed Media.

Micro-vibrators titillate flowers that have to be artificially pollinated as colony collapse disorder afflicts honeybee populations. These botanical sex toys can be battery- or solar powered. This model shows several sex toys attached to a plant. A dismantled micro-vibrator is also displayed.

Jonathon Keats, Sex Toys for Flowers, 2017. Mixed Media.

Micro-vibrators titillate flowers that have to be artificially pollinated as colony collapse disorder afflicts honeybee populations. These botanical sex toys can be battery- or solar powered. This model shows several sex toys attached to a plant. A dismantled micro-vibrator is also displayed.

Jonathon Keats, Fiber Optics for Corals (Conceptual Model), 2017. Mixed Media.

Fiber optics facilitate photosynthesis in corals, providing an alternate energy source when turbid or polluted oceans prevent adequate sunlight from passing through the water. This conceptual model shows how the fiber optics cables might be illuminated by LEDs that are powered by photovoltaics on the ocean surface. The LEDs could alternately be powered by wave energy, or the fiber optics could be illuminated directly with a solar concentrator.

Jonathon Keats, Urban Camouflage for Reptiles, 2015-17. Mixed Media.

Military camouflage designed for urban combat allows reptiles to elude detection in cities as urbanization overtakes their natural habitats. In this model, a turtle wears a camouflage fabric shell covering.

Super Ego Suit, Jonathon Keats. Photo by Elena Dorfman.

Super Ego Suit, Jonathon Keats. Photo by Elena Dorfman.

Super Ego Suit, Jonathon Keats. Photo by Elena Dorfman.

Super Ego Suit, Jonathon Keats. Photo by Elena Dorfman.

 

 

Kimberly Ruth is a New York based multi-media artist. Her work explores the failures and inconsistencies of language, especially in the digital age. Through text, photography, video and performance, she works to…

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