By Brandon Ballengée
LED lighting, aluminum frame, and fabric, 2018
Love Motel for Insects uses UV lights on large canvases shaped like flying insects to attract insects and enable public interactions with nocturnal arthropods, which are not often seen. The artwork creates opportunities for biodiversity festivals, scientific investigations, and educational moments for the public, bringing a deeper understanding of our environment.
Brandon Ballengée (American, born 1974) is a visual artist, biologist, and environmental educator based in Louisiana. He creates transdisciplinary artworks inspired by his ecological field and laboratory research. Ballengée is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University, studying the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill’s impact on fish. Since 1996, a central focus has been the occurrence of developmental deformities and population declines among amphibians.
In 2001 Ballengée was nominated for membership into the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society. In 2009 Ballengée and SK Sessions published “Explanation for Missing Limbs in Deformed Amphibians” in the Journal of Experimental Zoology, receiving international media attention. This scientific study was the inspiration for the book Malamp: The Occurrence of Deformities in Amphibians and a solo exhibition at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. From 2009-15 Ballengée continued his amphibian research as a visiting scientist at McGill University, and in 2011 he was awarded a conservation leadership fellowship from the National Audubon Society. In 2014 he received his Ph.D. in transdisciplinary art and biology from Plymouth University (UK) in association with Zürich University of the Arts and Applied Sciences. In 2015 he was awarded a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Ballengée’s artwork has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and in more than 20 other countries. In summer 2013 the first career survey of his work debuted at Château de Chamarande in France and traveled to Museum Het Domein in Holland in 2014. A mid-career retrospective of his work opened in fall 2016 at the University of Wyoming Art Museum. His art has been featured in numerous major U.S. and international publications.
KSAT installation – Love Motel for Insects: Anax Junius Variation
This installation is supported by the Lehigh Valley Engaged Humanities Consortium Mellon grant. We invite you to engage and learn more about the piece and its significance on the trail Sept. 6-10. See the event schedule below or click on the poster to go to the event page.