VAP or the Virtual Arboretum Project is an ongoing responsive art project conceived and curated by artist Catherine Bailey. It aims to bring people’s awareness to nature by increasing foot-traffic to the trees and green spaces in regional and urban areas, through innovative, experimental, artistic, environmental and or socio-historic responses by local, national and international artists. Engagement, by new and old audiences, facilitated through mobile phone technology, enables the artwork to be either temporary and ephemeral or permanently displayed. Live art, installation, video, photography and sculpture have so far been the mediums of choice.
This project was designed, in part, to promote artists as visionaries, innovators and providers of new perspectives and awarenesses to the layers of existence associated with plant and animal species we have within arms reach. It was also made as a model for archiving contemporary artworks and local botanical history through the artist’s response to place. Finally using mobile phone technology creates a virtual pathway across regions enabling a unique form of exploration and information to travelers and locals alike. The first VAP (VAP Portland) is a small pilot project made in Portland, Victoria.