Thinking Wilderness is a year-long online thinkers in residency program, event series in Questa, New Mexico, and Radio Program featuring diverse voices and creative works on Wilderness inspired by the succinct and poetic definition of wilderness found in the United States 1964 Wilderness Act:

A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.

What does “untrammeled” mean in the context of growing planetary urbanization, increasing resource scarcity and the “Age of the Anthropocene?” What is the role of Wilderness in the 21st Century? Wilderness Thinkers are asked to consider such questions.

From local voices to national figures, the project invites “Wilderness Thinkers” to reflect, debate and creatively respond to the concept of wilderness. Works may reflect on wilderness in the past, present and/or future.

The project hales from Questa, New Mexico, a place surrounded by natural beauty and wild lands. Flanked by two Wilderness Areas (Latir and Wheeler Peak Wilderness Areas), one Wilderness Study Area (The Columbine Hondo WSA), and the new Rio Grande del Norte National Monument (which also has two unofficial Wilderness Study Areas within it – Ute and San Antonio Mountains), Questa is an ideal place to launch and curate this project. (See the Archive Page for local Thinking Wilderness events in Questa and the surrounding area.) Our goal is for the ripples to spread, from Questa, statewide, nationally and internationally. Wilderness is not owned; we are only stewards and like Wilderness, the thinkers in residence project is for everyone.

All Wilderness Thinkers’ reflections and creations will be archived on this site. There is no limit to how many people can participate and Thinkers can be from anywhere. The only requirement is that submissions reflect Wilderness in some way.

Fifty-Two people will be become Featured Thinkers in Residence, from all “Thinker” nominations and submissions we receive. The work of a new “Thinker in Residence” will be featured each week from September 3, 2014 – September 3, 2015.

Thinking Wilderness Transmissions – The Radio Show will be a compilation of the thoughts and works from Wilderness Thinkers in Residence and will be aired as a 6 – part series on KRZA Radio in 2015.

LEAP LogoLEAP, “Land, Experience and Art of Place” is the project founder. LEAP works with arts, education and environment in an integrated way. Partnering with BLM and other agencies and organizations is part of our interdisciplinary approach to art and place. LEAP has been serving local and visiting artists, students, and the public since 2009 with NeoRio and its related education programs inspired by natural world themes. www.leapsite.org

Thinking Wilderness Co-Creative Directors:

Anita-PirateBWAnita McKeown 
Anita is an itinerant interdisciplinary artist, curator and researcher interested in Creative Placemaking and Open Source Culture and Technology, including their ethical and environmental impact. Previously, Director of the CATALYST initiative at SMARTlab,UCD, Dublin she is currently focusing on completion of her PhD, while working on independent live and situated art projects,  as Art Services Unincorporated (ASU).

Claire-BWClaire Coté (BA, MA)
Claire’s interdisciplinary arts practice and education work take her on adventures in nature as well as into classrooms and galleries. She is the founder of LEAP (Land, Experience and Art of Place), co-organizer of SEED, and co-curator at OCHO Art & Event Space in Questa. Born and raised north of Questa, Claire continues to call this beautiful area home. www.clairecote.com

LEAP is working closely with the following collaborators to make the project a success: Questa Visitor Center, OCHO Event & Art Space, Carson National Forest and Bureau of Land Management’s Taos Field Office.

Other Partners: