The Virtual Pasture is an “agri/cultural” experiment making relation between a flock of sheep; a small grazing meadow; an outdoor video monitor; a public land-grant university; a non-profit farm and nature preserve, and the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University.

The Virtual Pasture stimulates a sequence of aesthetic, social, environmental, and educational exchanges that together create a visible public forum for a complexity of issues regarding the local production, marketing and distribution of food in an increasingly industrialized, mechanized and technology-centered agricultural economy. By reintroducing human and farm animal relations as an everyday experience, The Virtual Pasture reinvigorates the public land-grant university as an “agri/cultural” commons and recalls the fundamental intimacy between domestic animals and us.

Harpo Foundation is pleased to have supported the production of a 30-40 minute film Covenant that will culminate this multi-year project by documenting the ways in which we come to know, or re-cognize, farm animals through our touching and handling of them. The film is narrated visually rather than through words – animals, after all, do not speak (Source: Stratford Ecological Center grant proposal).

Michael Mercil lives in Columbus, Ohio where he teaches at The Ohio State University.

For more information about the artist, visit here.