Larger-than-life video at CSU highlights elephants in captivity Aug. 17

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Jeff Dodge
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Artist Colleen Plumb, whose videos show elephants coping with their captivity by swaying back and forth, will bring her work to Colorado State University on Aug. 17. The powerful images will be projected on the west side of the Lory Student Center Theatre beginning at 8:45 p.m.

Plumb will attend the event to answer questions about her work.

About the art

The large-scale video, “Thirty Times a Minute,” is projected onto the sides of buildings in an effort to bring art to the public, to raise awareness about the plight of elephants removed from their herd and natural environments and placed in captivity, and to disrupt viewers’ daily/normal experience.

Since 2014, the artist has installed more than 70 public projections of her elephant video, in locations such as Chicago, Portland, Detroit, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming, New York, Berlin, Vienna and Paris.

“All of my hours watching elephants, and watching people watch elephants, has changed me,” Plumb says. “It has led me to think about the universality of suffering, avenues toward compassion, and the wish for the well-being of all living things. The video reveals their distress, power, and grace.”

Aug. 18 event

Other viewings of Plumb’s art are planned, including at 8:45 p.m. on Aug. 18 at Oak Street Plaza, where the videos will be projected on the side of the Museum of Art Fort Collins. All of the events are being presented through a partnership between The Center for Fine Art Photography and CSU.

“The public installations trigger conversations between strangers — talking about isolation and friendship and what is humane,” Plumb says. “Through these conversations, incremental or momentary connectedness occurs. The public projections have grown into an offering: honoring the place of projection, the spectators that stop to watch, and the elephants themselves.”

Plumb also plans to visit several CSU classes on Aug. 20. For more information about the artist, visit