A bestiary of the anthropocene

Nicolas Nova, Disnovation.org

Onomatopee 188 2021

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Gorgeously printed in silver ink on black paper, this field guide to our new world of hybrid specimens catalogs the conflation of the technosphere and the biosphere

Plastiglomerates, surveillance robot dogs, fordite, artificial grass, antenna trees, COVID-19, decapitated mountains, drone-fighting eagles, standardized bananas: all of these specimens–some more familiar than others–are examples of the hybridity that shapes the current landscapes of science, technology and everyday life. Inspired by medieval bestiaries and the increasingly visible effects of climate change on the planet, French researcher Nicolas Nova & art collective DISNOVATION.ORG provide an ethnographic guide to the “post-natural” era in which we live, highlighting the amalgamations of nature and artifice that already co-exist in the 21st century.

A sort of field handbook, A Bestiary of the Anthropocene aims to help us orient ourselves within the technosphere and the biosphere. 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? In order to answer such questions, Nova & DISNOVATION.ORG bring their own research together with contributions from collectives such as the Center for Genomic Gastronomy and Aliens in Green as well as text by scholars and researchers from around the world. Polish graphic designer Maria Roszkowska provides illustrations.