FERAL ATLAS. The More-Than-Human Anthropocene

FERAL ATLAS. The More-Than-Human Anthropocene. Curated and Edited by Anna L. Tsing, Jennifer Deger, Alder Keleman Saxena and Feifei Zhou, Stanford University Press 2021

Feral Atlas invites you to explore the ecological worlds created when nonhuman entities become tangled up with human infrastructure projects. Seventy-nine field reports from scientists, humanists, and artists show you how to recognize “feral” ecologies, that is, ecologies that have been encouraged by human-built infrastructures, but which have developed and spread beyond human control. These infrastructural effects, Feral Atlas argues, are the Anthropocene.

Playful, political, and insistently attuned to more-than-human histories, Feral Atlas does more than catalog sites of imperial and industrial ruin. Stretching conventional notions of maps and mapping, it draws on the relational potential of the digital to offer new ways of analyzing—and apprehending—the Anthropocene; while acknowledging danger, it demonstrates how in situ observation and transdisciplinary collaboration can cultivate vital forms of recognition and response to the urgent environmental challenges of our times.

Weibel and Latour: Critical Zones

““the Critical Zone cannot be escaped, cannot be judged from a distance.” There is no planetary view from without, only a variety of partial ones while enmeshed within.

This is why the arts play such an important role across this book. Aesthetics render these complex co-dependencies across different scales sensible and apprehensible. They are a vital tool in helping those floating in space become “terrestrial”—the third key concept structuring the book along with Gaia and critical zones. The terrestrial designates a kind of emergent possibility in which awareness of Gaia and the political combine, beyond the current disjunction between the world many humans live in (one of property rights, globalized consumptions, hard borders, and so on) and the finite and fragile world they live from.” Sam Solnick, Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel (Eds.), Critical Zones, in Art Agenda, December 21, 2020