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New York

Artists Give to Nature

Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint included The Nature Conservancy in their estate plans in 2013, becoming Central and Western New York’s newest members of The Legacy Club.

They were prompted to give back by their love and gratitude for wild places, which they also see as gateways to imagination and spiritual health.

Working as EcoArtTech since 2005, the two professors study the environmental imagination–from nature and built spaces to electronic environments. Here, Leila experiments with a web-cam driven hiking app as part of an art-residency at Joya: Arte y Ecología near Vélez Blanco, Spain.

The couple created a mobile media app called “Indeterminate Hikes” to transform everyday landscapes into sites of diversity and wildness through a series of walking tours.

Leila and Cary are interested in how mobile technology — often used for rapid communication — can also be used as a tool of imagination and discovery.

Through a series of prompts, Indeterminate Hikes encourages users to give virtually any place accessible by Google Maps the same attention they would give to a natural wonder like a canyon or waterfall.

Leila and Cary have led many group hikes using their app. Rochester residents can look forward to an EcoArtTech-led hike with The Nature Conservancy in spring 2014.

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