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Artist to speak about moth project

- March 19, 2007

Joseph Scheer, whose oversized, digitally scanned images of moths have been shown in major museums throughout the United States and in Europe and Asia, will show examples of his work and discuss his ongoing efforts to document the moths of the world in a presentation titled “Mothing,” on Sunday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. in Konover Auditorium.

Scheer, whose work is currently on view in the Stevens Gallery of Homer Babbidge Library, is a professor of print media and founding co-director of the Institute for Electronic Arts at the School of Art and Design at Alfred University in New York State.

What began as an art installation for Scheer, has become a major biodiversity project.

Compelled by the number and variety of the moths he was collecting, he wondered if it were possible to document every species existing in Allegheny County, N.Y., where he lives and works.

The project has now expanded to include specimens from around the world.

His ongoing effort to link art and environmental activism facilitates new visual access to nature, revealing the disquieting beauty of moths with all their hair and scales.

Digital scanning technology allows for the examination of the insects at a very high resolution, creating an effect of hyper-real vision and enabling the viewer to see structures of the insect that the naked eye cannot discern.

Heavy watercolor papers are used to bring warmth to the quality of the three-foot by four-foot images produced with large format ink jet printers.

Scheer’s recent work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the National Museum of China in Beijing, the Field Museum in Chicago, and has traveled to four major museums in Sweden.

He has published two books about his work: Night Visions: the Secret Designs of Moths and Night Flyers.

His work has been written about in more than 120 books and periodicals including: National Geographic, The New York Times, ArtNews, ArtForum, Science, Nature, Forbes, American Photo, DER SPIEGEL, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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