Transforming the Museum of Animal Perspectives (MAP) into the New Natural History Museum

The (virtual) Museum of Animal Perspectives (MAP) was an online project that featured wildlife imagery that was captured using remote sensing cameras. During its eighteen month run, the Museum of Animal Perspectives went viral – not once, but twice. The remotely sensed wildlife videos that were embedded on the MAP’s website received a total of over two hundred thousand hits. Additionally, the videos and images that appeared on the MAP’s social media sites enjoyed a total of over one million hits. The presentation will discuss the effectiveness of the Museum of Animal Perspectives in expanding the public’s capacity to empathize with animals and plants. The presentation will also inroduce the New Natural History Museum, which has now replaced the Museum of Animal Perspectives.

Sam Easterson has been making videos for over 15 years. Included among the museums that have exhibited his work are the Whitney Museum of American Art, “Whitney Biennial Exhibition” (New York); the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis); the New Museum (New York); and the International Center of Photography (New York). Easterson’s work has also been presented on the Sundance Channel, Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel and on the Late Show with David Letterman. As a video naturalist, Sam is best known for his animal borne imaging work, which he discontinued in 2007. He now captures footage by implanting cameras in natural environments. In addition to working as a video naturalist, Sam Easterson has also worked as a museum professional in the US, Canada and New Zealand. He has held staff positions at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Te Papa Tongarewa National Museum of New Zealand and at the Royal Ontario Museum. Easterson currently works as a Senior Media Producer at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, where he is developing video content for the NHM’s new Nature Lab.
Easterson is a graduate of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York and also earned a Master of Science in Landscape Architecture from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He has received grants from the Durfee Foundation, the Yellow Fox Foundation, the Peter S. Reed Foundation and the Creative Capital Foundation, among numerous others. In addition, Easterson is also a recipient of the prestigious Tiffany Prize.

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