A BESTIARY OF THE ANTHROPOCENE
[AN ILLUSTRATED ATLAS OF HYBRID MINERALS, ANIMALS, PLANTS, FUNGI, AND OTHER SPECIMENS]
A Bestiary of the Anthropocene is an illustrated compilation of hybrid creatures of our time, equally inspired by mediaeval bestiaries and observations of our damaged planet. Designed as a field handbook, it aims at helping us observe, navigate, and orientate into the increasingly artificial fabric of the world. Plastiglomerates, surveillance robot dogs, fordite, artificial grass, antenna trees, Sars-Covid-2, decapitated mountains, drone-fighting eagles, standardised bananas… each of these specimens are symptomatic of the rapidly transforming “post-natural” era we live in. Often without us even noticing them, these creatures exponentially spread and co-exist with us.
A Bestiary of the Anthropocene seeks to capture this precise moment when the biosphere and technosphere merge and mesh into one new hybrid body. What happens when technologies and their unintended consequences become so ubiquitous that it is difficult to define what is “natural” or not? What does it mean to live in a hybrid environment made of organic and synthetic matter? What new specimens are currently populating our planet at the beginning of the 21st century?
Research and editing: Nicolas Nova & DISNOVATION.ORG
Illustrations: Maria Roszkowska
Specimen Descriptions: Nicolas Nova
Frame production: Théâtre de l’Orangerie (CH)
DISNOVATION.ORG is a research collective set up in Paris in 2012, whose core members include Maria Roszkowska (PL), Nicolas Maigret (FR), and Baruch Gottlieb (CA). They work at the interface between contemporary art, research and hacking, and compose tailor-made teams for each investigation together with academics, activists, engineers, and designers. Their recent artistic provocations challenge the widespread faith that ‘economic growth’ and ‘technological fixes’ will solve the ecosystemic disruptions they provoked in the first place, seeking to empower Post Growth imaginaries and practises. They recently co-edited A Bestiary of the Anthropocene with Nicolas Nova, an atlas of anthropic hybrid creatures, and The Pirate Book, an anthology about media piracy. DISNOVATION.ORG’s works have been exhibited, performed, published and reviewed worldwide including at the Centre Pompidou (Paris), transmediale (Berlin), the Museum of Art and Design (New York), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), FILE (Sao Paulo), ZKM (Karlsruhe), Strelka Institute (Moscow), ISEA (Hong Kong), Elektra (Montreal), China Museum of Digital Arts (Beijing), and the Chaos Computer Congress (Hamburg).