Lauren Strohacker

Creativity, 2022, Grantee Link >

Lauren Strohacker is an eco-political artist whose work emphasizes the non-human in an increasingly human-centric world. She received a grant for “Ground Work,” a free, after-dark outdoor public projection event designed for the grounds of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), located in North Carolina. She writes:

Humans need to remember the red wolf and the Artworld needs to prioritize activism over profit. “Ground Work” is a catalyst for recall of the red wolf and exemplifies art as a conduit between human and animal community. Shifting Baseline Syndrome is the communal process of forgetting natural systems over time, normalizing the ongoing degradation of those systems. We (particularly non-indigenous Western settlers) need to collectively remember the landscapes and animals devastated by colonial capitalism and western expansion in order to properly restore pre-colonial habitats and populations.

Lauren has completed her installation “Old Red, I Know Where Thou Dwellest,” exhibited at SECCA in North Carolina from October 21, 2022 through August 27, 2023. The installation consists of three components: the multi-sensory experience “Leukos Lukos,” the outdoor installation “Ground Work,” and the projections “Such Music As I Have Never Heard.” Watch her mesmerizing and evocative visualization of the disappearance and reappearance of the red wolf.

Below, Lauren discusses wolves in the American landscape and imagination with fellow CAF grantee Patrick Fuery and CAF 2023 Navab Fellow Tymesha-Elizabeth Kindell. Lauren’s interest in predators is also shared with Matilde Cassano, who researches the historical perception of bears and wolves in the Italian Alpine regions.