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Purpose/Impact

A central question facing society today is how can interaction with and participation in the visual arts (photography) serve as a mechanism to increase understanding of and elicit positive stewardship for the environment? This question has far-reaching practical consequences for how powerful visual imagery can build an emotional connection. By creating these installations, Associate Professor Ellenbogen is creating awareness for environmental concerns.  From an academic perspective, this project is also highlighting the benefits of various disciplines working collectively to solve real-world problems. The interdisciplinary nature of Ellenbogen’s work brings together expertise in applied visual arts, landscape ecology, urban design and planning; coastal ecology; and cognitive psychology to better understand how people perceive their environment.

Outcomes/Accomplishments

In recognition of this innovative project, Ellenbogen was invited as the keynote speaker to present his images and stories to The United States Senate Ocean Caucus with opening remarks by Senator Whitehouse (D-RI). Additionally, a series of his fine-art prints of marine wildlife are prominently exhibited within the offices of senators and congressional leaders in Washington, D.C. He was also invited to give a TED Talk entitled “New York’s Surprising Underwater Wildlife.” His “360-degree VR Encounter with Great White Shark” was featured on National Geographic News.
Keith Ellenbogen Photoville Display
outdoor display of Keith Ellenbogen's photography

Status Update

Ellenbogen has started a collaboration with three professors from Northeastern University to explore how the visual arts affect people and communities regarding environmental issues. They are pursuing grant funding to continue this work.

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