The Preternatural Exhibition is a special section of the Maker Faire, co-curated by Ohio State University Professor Ken Rinaldo and Maker Faire curator Remco Volmer. They invited artists whose works address the perspectives of animals, media and technological representations, ecosystems, futures, coevolution, symbiosis and friction between human and non-humans. These include 3D rapid prototyped sculptures, 3D animations, robotic artworks, performance and moving image art installations.

Invited artists are: Madeleine Rico, Jeremy Viny, Trademark Gunderson, Jordan Reynolds, Ethan Schaefer, Catherine Lee, Danner Seyffer-Sprague, Danielle Popp, Yoni Mizrachi, Sarah Goetz, Amy Youngs, Grant Parish, Casey Hamilton, Daniel Popp, Christine Rucker, Katherine Beigel, Drew Grigsby, Christina Howard, Kyler Holland, Maggie Barrie, Riley Patrick, Makayla Combs, Nick Cunningham, Hui Yang, Jayne Kennedy, Brandon Messner, Jacob Markusic, Brandon Ball, Michael Anderson, Leah Lafarciola, Gaopeng Chen, Jay Young and Ken Rinaldo.

Special Thanks to the United States Department of State for the generous grant allowing travel funds for these artists and to Maker Faire Ottawa for this generous opportunity as well as the Department of Art at the Ohio State University in supporting this international opportunity.


Madeleine Rico, Telepistomological Themie:  Firefly Plant

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The Firefly Plant was fabricated to serve as a biomimicry to fireflies’ produced light to examine if they can sense their own kind through luminescence alone.  An artificial light, preferably phosphorescent, would shine through an inner network of veins, out of the three buds, and create the same hue as that of the lightning bugs, drawing them to the buds like bees to flowers.  A mobile phone would be held firmly in place at a close distance where it would record any presence of insects.


Jeremy Viny, SIMON_ & Telepistomological Themie

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SIMON is an interactive wearable headset designed to read and translate the emotional state of users. SIMON records electrical activity in the brain via an EEG monitor. Data is transcribed in color according to a users’s cognitive state (i.e. relaxed [blue], stressed [red], tired [yellow], focused [green], etc). A collective color based on an averages in the users neurological activity is displayed by the headset’s imbedded LEDS.

SIMON connects people, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, religion, etc. This empathy inducing platform disrupts a traditional social interactivity as it turns a users’s affect inside-out across lights inside the headset and visuals. This transformative public art experience is made possible via a new and novel confluence of public art practice, scientific method, interface design, and open source technologies. We hope to create an innovative space for users to find common ground in a world full of people increasingly defined by their differences.

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The human-animal’s awareness of its own existence is widely accepted as a phenomena unique to the human experience. The Heideggerian notion of ‘Dasein, as being-towards-the end’ refers to a being’s awareness of life as finite. This intuition informs many of the individual’s temporal interactions. At the age of 11 I experienced the ‘Bodies Exhibition’. Seeing the peculiar showing of lifeless unmistakably human bodies in lively poses proved a catalyst for my first very own pre-teen ‘existential crisis’. Subsequently I began to grapple with the questions surrounding a view in which death is seen as finite.3D modeled in Cinema 4D and printed on the Series 1 Type A Machines, 3D printed model resembled a dissected Fox squirrel. Akin to my own experience at the ‘Body Exhibition’ Squirrels inquisitively walked towards and around their dissected representation of self. Did the squirrel see himself? If so, did the squirrel experience awareness of the end as finite? what, if any emotions transcend boundaries of awareness between species.


Jordan Reynolds, Sensory Deprivation Helmet

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The Sensory Deprivation Helmet is a device that can be placed over the user’s head to deprive them of their senses. The helmet was inspired by sensory deprivation chambers that would inhibit a person of all their senses. My intention was to develop a personalized version of the sensory deprivation chamber that could be used anywhere as an escape from reality and deprive their body of any external sensory input. With this helmet, the user has the ability to hinder their body’s ability see, hear, taste, and smell.


Ethan Schaefer, Selfie Moment

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Housed within the terrarium is a model of a native stick insect to the Midwest, the Northern Walking Stick, with clippings of Pyracantha Coccinea, a native plant that the insect thrives on. iPhones mounted on the Selfie Sticks® are equipped with motion detecting cameras, capturing movement that occurs both inside and outside the terrarium.

Selfie Moment explores the relationship between viewer and viewed, conformity and the spectacle. Every day images from mobile phones proliferate the streams of media we absorb, the labor of these images has been outsourced to bystanders on the street, leaving their messages open to ideological agendas. If these innocent bystanders are the new journalists, are they still innocent? Selfie Moment attempts to blur the line between viewer and viewed, questioning where agency lies within the spectacle.


Catherine Lee, LOVE/HATE

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LOVE/HATE lives in this world with no control of its movements. The robot is connected to Twitter and when the word “love” or “hate” appears, it moves towards one direction or another. At the end of the day, where will LOVE/HATE find itself?


Danner Seyffer-Sprague, Telepistomological Themie & Olfactory Fingertips – A New Way of Seeing

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This device was meant to not only observe, but also serve as temporary shelter for small decomposer flies. Naturally, different forms of compost attract different flies. This device was created in hopes of recording what materials serve as ideal breeding grounds for specific species. To operate the device, one must simply collect dead/decaying matter (fruit, compost, flesh, etc) and place it inside of the stump’s basin. Not only is the container open to the air, but the base is an open grid to allow waste material to return to the earth as it breaks down and decomposes. To record the subjects, I have created a slot on the tallest mushroom model to holster a smart device to videotape them. I’ve made sure to place it somewhere moderately shady to prevent the compost from drying too quickly. The device itself has been designed to mimic the appearance of an old, dead stump that has rotted away to the point where just the husk remains. There are also three natural mushrooms that, while aromatic, are purely cosmetic to enhance the natural feel of the piece.

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This is a device that lets one experience the tactile world with their nose in 3D. The device connects from the nostrils to the fingertips via surgical tubing, thus allowing the user to effectively smell multiple objects at once (with their hands, of course), much like how a butterfly experiences the world, but with smell rather than taste. The device attaches to eac nostril separately inside of the mask, which in turn grants individual access to each hand. Onl the right nostril can smell what the right hand is interacting with, and so on. Hopefully, this device will ultimately allow one to smell something in “3D” so to speak and find their way to an object (while blindfolded) by simply expanding their range of smell to their fingertips. The thick gloves were chosen to hinder the wearer’s ability to identify the object he/she is interacting with simply by touch, thus forcing the wearer to rely primarily on scent.


Danielle Popp, Perception

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The sun rises at the dawn of a new day, sending beams of energy to the surface. Humans cannot transform this energy source into food. Plants remain the only organism capable of this feat. We cultivate and care for plants and they provide us with essential nutrients. I explore this symbiotic relationship by animating plants; giving them a sense of agency through projected light. The cone shaped planters relate to the cones in our eyes that let us visually experience the earth around us. We need light to see, build, and expand, and plants need light to live. Together plants and people are involved in an interdependent system of survival.


Sarah Goetz, for the new you seek in the not new and for the not new you seek in the new

In the installation/video/performance “for the new you seek in the not new and for the not new you seek in the new,” sarah goetz will use contemporary DIY/self-publishing modes of production in a desperate search to find, replace, condense, and evaporate the authoritative voice she once associated with formerly-mass media. Her strategies will include live broadcasting (via GoPro and Periscope @sarahvgoetz), CCTV (via RaspberryPi, mini projector, PiCam, and wifi), and letter press ice printing (via 3D-printed letters, borrowed freezer space, and water from the Ridaeu Canal).


Trademark Gunderson, Surrealist Bird Calls #41 – #60 & AutoTuned Doors

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“Why do the bird wings fly off of their bodies?”  A glimpse into the world of surrealist bird watching with bird calls, notes, and artifacts.  From Falco Absurdum to Catherpes Mysticus, this art installation explores an alternate reality that separates the wings from the birds.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, The Doors!”  It’s musical, it’s a door, but it’s not those Doors — it’s an AutoTuned door, and you can interact with its squeaky (yet musical) hinges by opening and closing it.