We live in a creative matrix of nature’s communication. Artists have always known this intuitively, the science of ecology now confirms it.
-- Dr. Rich Blundell
What is Ecological Intelligence?
Ecological intelligence refers to the field of communication generated by nature that also infuses human consciousness.
This course is designed to give all artists, media-makers and cultural creatives access to deep ecological insights that they may not have gotten through formal education or art training. Here you will learn how ecological systems work and see how nature's intelligence can infuse your practice to amplify your creativity. You will gain new language, concepts and the confidence to talk about your work in a way that matters in the Anthropocene.
Note: This course is less about any particular discipline, aesthetic or artistic skill and more about developing your existing powers of attunement in conversation with nature.
Into the Artmosphere is Oika’s introductory course in ecological intelligence for artists.
Course Structure & Content
Over five weeks we will meet virtually to learn the three core concepts of ecological intelligence (NARRATIVE, EMERGENCE & FRACTALS) plus two elective concepts that include: Cybernetics, Tacit Knowing, Radical Affection, Quantum Ecologies, The Virome, Phenomenology, Reciprocity, Gratitude, Timeless Play, ENjoyment, Consilience, etc.. Class size is limited to seven per cohort.
Five weekly video calls and ongoing email conversations are supplemented with short videos on the core concepts (two sample excerpts shown below).
The course also includes self-directed practices in the artist’s home habitats called Earth Stories. An Earth Story is a moment of Oika practice that can be shared. Typically this means a photo, video clip, sketch or drawing, or poem or other writing.
The Oika curriculum draws on current science to tell a natural history of art in an accessible way.
Each week we will explore concepts during regularly scheduled video calls & group email. Concepts are then converted into lived-experience through self-directed practices during the week.
What is Ecological Intelligence?
Platform (getting set up on Trello)
PERSON Module Recap (read bio’s)
PROSPER Module recap
Natural History wrap-up
The weekly video calls are limited to 90-mins or less. Practice time is according to your schedule. How much time you spend on the practices is up to you but we recommend a minimum of 2-hrs per week. The more time spent in direct contact with nature, the better.
Ideas that highlight the connections between nature and humanity are seen within the learning experiences of the Oika program. I'm excited about incorporating this content not only into my own studio practice, but also into my teaching deliveries as an art and design professor. I'm excited about working with the Oika program in the near future.
-- Kat, Artist & Art Teacher
I loved learning how everything is interconnected and nothing is inconsequential. Also finding my own personal connection to nature and being more mindful of the "little things" in the universe- the simple moments of clarity and connection - James, Poet
I needed this to bring that connection back to place myself into the right direction again. belonging to this planet that we’re all disconnected from. It’s made me so motivated to push what I love to do further with a new purpose and new energy to my work. -- Cheryl, Artist
This experience really drove home to me the message that everything on earth, including humans, are all made from the same matter and energy. We are all one. -- Jill, Writer
The Oika experience made me feel connection, again, between my relationship with the earth and myself as a human. From this, I felt a new sense of creative purpose arise. One with a mission to share what I’ve learned with the world of busy individuals disconnected from our home. Perhaps a calm and connected state of mind and a form of self love. A new purpose to my creative work and how I can use that to share that with the world and allow them to know that they can have that connection too.
-- Chelsea, Artist
I'm more aware now about the idea of nature like something that I am part of, not only like something external to me. Also, I got the idea of nature as literally everything. -- John, Visual Artist
About the Instructor:
Dr. Rich Blundell is an ecologist working at the interface of science, art, nature and culture. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation, philanthropic sources and won awards from Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival for his work in environmental media. He founded Oika as the philosophical basis for a school of art that restores art to its original function in shaping an ecological society.