Elizabeth Demaray is an artist who focuses on the interface between the built and the natural environment. In this vein, she builds listening stations for birds that play human music, cultures lichen on the sides of skyscrapers in New York City, and designs alternative forms of housing for land hermit crabs. These artworks often involve the concept of a biotope, which is a small environment where human and non-human populations overlap.
While in residence at Monmouth University, Demaray will present these projects and will lead a workshop on non-anthropocentric design. She will also be pairing with the campus to create a community-based project that embraces the idea of “trans-species giving.” According to Demaray, the concept of trans-species giving asserts that the commonalities between life forms are such that we may actually be able to give other organisms a “hand up,” notwithstanding our own cultural or species-specific assumptions about the natural world.
Demaray is the recipient of the National Studio Award from the New York Museum of Modern Art/P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture, and was the featured artist at the 2014 Association of Environmental Science Studies symposium, Welcome to the Anthropocene. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and is an associate professor of fine arts and head of the sculpture concentration at Rutgers University, Camden. On the Rutgers, New Brunswick, campus, she is a work group advisor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and an advisor at The Art and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Rutgers University, in the Department of Computer Science, which is dedicated to supporting artistic practice in the fields of computer vision and machine learning.
Demaray’s work can be seen at: https://elizabethdemaray.org