Art Networks & Media Ecologies

Art Networks & Media Ecologies:
Monsters and Ghosts of the Anthropocene
Honors College
Design Cultures + Creativity
University of Maryland, College Park
Spring 2018
HDCC 106
co-taught with Krista Cabllero

Welcome to the Age of Humans. The monsters are never who you think they are. The ghosts cross boundaries and confuse time. Monsters and ghosts will play an important role in understanding the extra-ordinary ecologies of multispecies entanglement.  From radioactive fingerprints that span decades, to horseshoe crab blood becoming medical dye, we are now in the age of the Anthropocene.This recently designated geologic period refers to the ways in which human activities have dramatically impacted and altered every ecosystem on Earth. We will investigate the ways in which species extinction, water scarcity, and ‘natural’ disasters are entangled with histories of racism, sexism, ableism and economic disparities. We will explore how more-than-human ecologies of networked trees, fungi and flora enable us to understand our own networks and systems in order to rethink our human cultural practices.This team-taught class takes a transdisciplinary approach toward environmental justice with particular emphasis placed on art and design methodologies. These hands-on approaches may include photography, video, clay, basic electronics and code, generative art, sound, and other mixed-media. Focus is placed on the development of creative projects that blur boundaries between physical and digital media and integrate field-based research to expand our cultural imaginations to create different futures/worlds.