Wired Wilderness Project / Freya Bardell and Brian Howe

Presented by San Jose Airport’s Art + Technology Public Art Program

The Wired Wilderness Project creates a structure for an artist-in-residency program in partnership with the scientific communities of the San Jose region.  Creatively interpreting regional climate data generated by these existing institutions, artists’ projects will convey evolving issues of climate change, increase public awareness and potentially inspire behavioral change.

The framework for Wired Wilderness was developed by artists Freya Bardell and Brian Howe with ecological designer Brent Bucknum in partnership with U.C. Berkeley’s Blue Oak Ranch Reserve (BORR).  The project is conceived as a 100 year commitment; distributing the project over generations will mass a woven collection of artist visions, utilizing a variety of seeing modes, sensing technologies, and calls-to-action in the context of climate change.

Coming in October 2012 is an artwork by Bardell and Howe based on their three year association with BORR. A multimedia installation within the Apron Display Cases of the Norman Mineta Memorial San Jose International Airport, the public will engage with real-time data streams coming from the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve, a 3,500 acre University of California field station in the hillsides outside San Jose.

Data will flow from research sites to the airport and a wide variety of sciences will inform this stream for subject relevancy and technological redundancy.  Changes in climate will be documented in this two year study in the most technologically advanced means possible to the artists. High -Resolution Time-lapse photography, LIDAR, field recordings, sensor data, and satellite imagery will be collected over the two-year period. It is the artists hope that as you travel through the airport, the Wired Wilderness will serve as a reminder: that in the midst of our business and travels, nearby landscapes are telling a story of climate change; that signs often express themselves at unexpected and sometimes imperceptible time scales as a natural ‘clock’; and that through artistic interpretation of this often unseen climate data, we might better understand its impact and our role in this bigger picture.

Conversations are ongoing with scientific institutions to support ongoing realization of the residency.

Opens October 2012
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport
Terminal B

Freya Bardell and Brian Howe

work in Eagle Rock, LA, California

Artist website


Freya Bardell and Brian Howe are the founders and creative directors of Greenmeme, a cross-disciplinary public practice based in Los Angeles. The focus of Greenmeme is the design and creation of artistic environments and sculpture that encourage public stewardship and promote environmental and cultural awareness. Greenmeme installations have been featured nationally and internationally, shown in galleries, museums, vacant lots, rivers and oceans.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Hamilton, reserve director, UC Berkeley Blue Oak Ranch Reserve
Ecological Designer: Brent Bucknum, Hyphae Design Laboratory
Visual Artist and Software Designer: Jesse Gilbert
Greenmeme team: Joško Kirigin