The Virtual Pasture

Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio
Spring 2009 – Autumn 2011

Good farmers rotate crops and so, in 2009, I converted The Beanfield into pasture. Sheep and cows once grazed the OSU campus grounds. Horses pulled delivery wagons to classrooms, auditoriums and dormitories. Now animals—except pigeons, squirrels, rats, cats, raccoons and dogs—are mostly absent here. The Virtual Pasture reanimated the central-campus landscape with a flock of Shetland sheep raised off-site but presented through images streamed live to an outdoor video monitor at the Wexner Center for the Arts. The project entertains such questions as, Where do we encounter farm animals now? And, How might we reestablish contact with those living creatures on whom we depend, but have made invisible in our daily life? 

Why look at animals?

Project site , spring 2009 - autumn 2011

Project site, spring 2009 - autumn 2011

Shetland ram with visitor  at project site

Shetland ram with visitor at project site

OSU animal sciences classroom , circa 1963

OSU animal sciences classroom, circa 1963

Desktop screen capture  9:50pm 28 June 2010

Desktop screen capture 9:50pm 28 June 2010

Shetland ewe grazing pasture site , spring 2010

Shetland ewe grazing pasture site, spring 2010

Shetland ewe with LED monitor , autumn 2011

Shetland ewe with LED monitor, autumn 2011

Fundraising tee-shirt  2009

Fundraising tee-shirt 2009

Related articles and writings
Local Practice: An Agri/Cultural Consideration in Edible Columbus, Summer 2010.   
What I Forgot to Say (unpublished notes) by Michael Mercil, October 2011.