Nature All Around Us

Natural History Museum of Utah, Salt Lake City. October 19, 2019, to May 25, 2020

Nature All Around Us is a 9-month exhibit in the Natural History Museum's rotating gallery. This exhibit was produced internally by the museum's team and is an exploration of the natural world in and around Salt Lake City, Utah. I and a small team worked on four large scale media installations for Nature All Around Us: the Magic House, Urban Forest Tree Tops, Wilderness Urban Interface Diorama 2.0, and the Main Street Touch Wall Interactive.

Special Thanks:

Natural History Museum-Becky Menlove, Timothy Lee, Lisa Thompson, Mark Ingalls, Dawn Renée Farkas Prasad, Will Black, Bill Thomas, Geoffrey Leonard, Claire Davis, Will Aoki, Paula Aoki, 

Tracey Aviary - Helen Dishaw

Wild Wonders

Wild Heart Exotic Animals

Scales and Tails Utah

Jeremy Westerman

Director - Kate Raisz

Projection-Mapping & Physical Computing - George Hardebeck

Cinematography - Scotty Simper, Colby Bryson, Alec Lyons

Animation - Ethan Candelario

VFX - Matt Yourshaw

Sound Design - Jeff Rice

Magic House

The Magic House is a full-scale recreation of a small backyard. Green screened videos of local fauna are projected onto the facade, giving the audience a chance to meet the animals that they could find in their own neighborhood. Video is dynamically rendered and selected randomly from a library processed videos to guarantee a unique experience each time the exhibit is encountered! Animals include, but are not limited to: turkey vulture, crow, red-tailed hawk, roadrunner, fox, raccoon, cat, squirrels, bluejays, & western tanager

Urban Forest Tree Tops

Two rows of ultra-wide rear projection screens were hung in the canopy of the Urban Forest exhibit. Slow-motion drone footage was then taken of several variations of canopies one might find in Salt Lake City or the surrounding environs. These were cropped and then projected across the audiences' most vertical field of view to give them an idea of what birds or other fauna might experience while living among the trees. 

Wild Urban Interface

The full fruition of the concept of Diorama 2.0. The Wild Urban Interface is the traditional museum diorama with local taxidermy fauna (elk, wolf, badger, etc) and flora. The diorama was then interlaced with multiple levels of digital projections of keyed live-action local fauna (rattlesnakes, gopher snakes, whip-tailed lizards, tarantula, yellow-tailed lizards, beetles, etc). These projections are randomized from an archive of collected media to provide a unique experience for each visitor. Additional the Wild Urban Interface included a digital interactive where a LEAP Motion hand-tracking camera was deployed to trigger projected bug hunt over the diorama.  Through Diorama 2.0 we take a static environment and turn it into a rich, interactive and constantly changing environment that encourages exploration and deeper engagement with the natural world.

Main Street Interactive Mural

Designed around the idea of synanthropes (animals that live with humans) the Main Street Interactive Mural is a two-story brick facade as would be found in downtown Salt Lake City. The boarded window is printed with an illustrated graphic where the five synathropes (pigeon, raccoon, peregrine falcon, rat, and sparrow) trigger touch-activated projections. The triggered animations show the audience behaviors they can expect from these animals they likely see in their day to day life in a magical and engaging two-story projection mapping experience. The experience is designed to provide experiences at multiple heights to appeal to both young and old audiences..
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© 2018 by George Hardebeck

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