This spring, the Wellcome Collection in London invited the public to bring an object — any object — that represented their connection to nature. While there were a number of found specimens, such as a mayonnaise jar full of cotton, pecans, and pine cones from Alabama and a bottle of volcanic sand from Iceland, the majority were not what one might consider “natural.” One person brought a chunk of astroturf and another a synthetic yellow toy chick, both responding to how manufactured versions of nature are ubiquitous. Artist Ania Tomaszewska-Nelson recorded “sea waves” using the sounds of plastic Lego, considering ocean power against the power of plastic pollution. And a woman named Khoirun Nessa offered a fan she made for her granddaughter, reflecting on how she lived with the heat in Bangladesh before the arrival of electric fans. “Individuals would carry a fan like this with them to keep themselves cool, but you don’t need them anymore,” she states in an accompanying text. “At this time of year [April], it should be raining in Bangladesh but it’s not, which is a problem.”
The resulting exhibition from this crowdsourcing experiment, A Museum of Modern Nature, examines humanity’s association to nature at a time of urban development, climate change, and a precarious state of biodiversity. The 56 objects on view, from spoons carved from a fallen silver birch to a bundle of walking sticks crafted from Jersey kale, were selected by a small, but eclectic, team. They include a London park manager (Nick Biddle), a shaman (Rebekah Shaman), a dairy farmer (Robert Craig), the first British woman to climb Mount Everest (Rebecca Stephens), the director of science and collections at the Royal Horticultural Society (Alistair Griffiths), and a maker and materials expert (Zoe Laughlin).
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.