Hirondelusia: A Creative Turn Towards Species at Risk

Location: Catalyst, 137 Glasgow St, Kitchener

June 1, 2021 - August 31, 2021

Curatorial Partner Installation presented by Critical Media Lab

Hirondelusia is a barn swallow habitat modified from designs approved by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to mitigate habitat loss. Using a critical design approach, it explores what happens when humans and non-humans encounter structures approved for species at risk.

Through a collaborative, combined academic and creative approach, Hirondelusia seeks HOW and WHY specific species at risk recovery strategies are designed and built, and WHAT seeing structures like this tell humans about threatened species like the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica).


Hirondelusia Educational Virtual Tour

About the Artist

Jennifer Clary-Lemon is an Associate Professor in the department of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo. She works with textile, fabric, and found materials to create objects to feel with, which works in tandem with her analytic projects that have explored the affective and material impacts of museums, archives, tree planting cut blocks, and species on the brink of extinction.

Marcel O’Gorman is University Research Chair and Director of the Critical Media Lab (CML) at the University of Waterloo. He writes books about technology and culture and his work has appeared in Slate, The Atlantic, and the Globe and Mail. He is also a practicing artist and critical designer with an international portfolio of exhibitions and performances.

Image: Critical Media Lab, Hirondelusia: A Creative Turn Towards Species at Risk, (2021). Installation view: Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener + Area (CAFKA) 2021. Photo: David Botros.