FERAL ATLAS by Anna L. Tsing, Jennifer Deger, Alder Keleman Saxena and Feifei Zhou
The following documents the original digital publication Feral Atlas: The More-Than-Human Anthropocene by Anna L. Tsing, Jennifer Deger, Alder Keleman Saxena, and Feifei Zhou (Stanford University Press, 2020). DOI: 10.21627/2020fa ISBN: 9781503615045
Download video transcript.
Feral Atlas invites readers 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 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.
The project was originally released October 2020 and officially published in 2021 at http://feralatlas.org. It is the seventh publication of Stanford University Press’s initiative for the publication of interactive scholarly works funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
A note on navigation, curiosity, and overwhelm: Feral Atlas has been designed to encourage users to chart their own curiosity-driven paths through the site while taking their own time with the variety of texts and media they will encounter along the way. Even then the experience can be disorienting and even overwhelming, especially at first. This is intentional and in keeping with the subject matter itself.
What follows is one of 79 possible “critter-led” routes through the site, with gestures to possible sideways paths along the way.
On clicking Enter (see fig. 1), you will arrive at a landing page featuring an assortment of feral entities floating across the screen, each bobbing along on its own trajectory, sometimes crossing paths (see fig. 2). The screen will slowly fill up. When you hover over an entity, its name will appear. Depending on the entity you choose, one of four words will be highlighted: Invasion, Empire, Capital, Acceleration.
Text in the bottom left corner invites you to Open the Drawer. Click the three vertical lines to access a series of introductory essays (see fig. 3).
The Reading Room (the page from which to access all essays within Feral Atlas) is accessible at the top right.
A golden key floats at the top left throughout the site (see fig. 4). Clicking this will take you to the Super Index (more on this below).
Chose a feral entity and click. An explosion fills the screen (see fig. 5).
A landscape emerges. Say you chose Genjer. You will land within the Empire landscape where a red dot indicates the location of this feral entity (see fig. 6).
Hover over the red dot to reveal more about the relationship between this feral entity and the human-infrastructure that promotes its spread (see fig. 7).
Look around. Black dots indicate other feral entities within this Empire landscape.
Zoom in and out to explore a landscape teeming with feral entities (see fig. 8).
Open the Drawer to read essays on Empire and the ways that Anthropocene Detonators transform land and seascapes.
If you click the red dot for Genjer, you will arrive at the Tipper page for TAKE (see fig. 9). Read a brief introduction to TAKE. Scroll down to view a series of video poems appearing in random order depicting the infrastructural processes that lead to the non-designed effects of feral proliferation that Feral Atlas charts.
Select another video poem to view. Or scroll down further to read a short text poem on TAKE. Find alternative pathways through the atlas via a selection of other feral entities (see fig. 10).
Open the Drawer to read about TAKE and the six other Tippers, or Modes of Infrastructure-Mediated State Change.
Close the Drawer and click the flashing red button Continue to Field Report.
Scroll down to read the field report (see fig. 11).
Click to open the color-coded Feral Qualities texts in the left margin or below the field report (see fig. 12).
Click through to field reports on other feral entities within the Feral Quality text. Or access the Feral Qualities essays in the Drawer. In this case, Creatures of Conquest.
At the end of the essay, you will find an array of feral entities associated with this Feral Quality (see fig. 13).
Click these to explore other entities and landscapes. Or close the Drawer to return to the field report. At the end of each report, you are offered a chance to “Revert at your own risk” and “Or explore the Super Index” (in small white letters, see fig. 14).
Reverting returns you to the home page of floating, bobbing entities. You can move through the Anthropocene Detonator Landscapes and Tippers to arrive at a new field report with a new set of Feral Qualities.
The Super Index lists all the feral entities (see fig. 15). Hovering over will reveal the author’s name and the associated Anthropocene Detonator and Tippers. In the background a slightly blurry “soup” of other potential entities and categories float past, as a small but pointed disturbance to the apparent order and authority of this index.
Clicking an author’s name will take you to their field report. Clicking an Anthropocene Detonator will take you to the landscape. Clicking one of the Tippers will take you to that particular Tipper page with video poems and associated texts and feral entities.
Scroll down from the Super Index to discover the Reading Room (see fig. 16) from where you can access all the other essays and supplementary materials within Feral Atlas. (The “Revert at your own risk” button remains accessible.)
You can return to the landing page anywhere in the Super Index by clicking the “Revert at your own risk” button at top left.
Scroll down further to view the full array of illustrated entities with authors’ names. Colored “critters” indicate that you have visited that field report (see fig. 17).
Click any feral entity to trigger the explosion and reveal it within its Anthropocene Detonator landscape.
A web archive of this project can be accessed via the Archive link on the project’s cover page at http://feralatlas.org/ or downloaded from the Stanford Digital Repository collection at https://purl.stanford.edu/qj089fs5316.
CURATED AND EDITED BY
Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing Jennifer Deger Alder Keleman Saxena Feifei Zhou
DESIGNED AND BUILT BY
Lili Carr (Map Director) School: Andrew Herzog & Nicky Tesla, with Emma Rae Bruml Norton, Lukas Eigler-Harding, Rahul Shinde Art Camp: Santiago Carrasquila, Jos Diaz Contreras, Eugene Lee, Ningfeng Zhao, Heewon Kim Victoria Baskin Coffey (Visual Editor) Jovan Maud (Copy and Digital Editor) Gabby Miller (Wrangler)
Sven Beckert Amitav Ghosh Gabrielle Hecht Karen Ho Simon L. Lewis & Mark A. Maslin David M. Richardson Will Steffen Terra Forma: Frédérique Aït-Touati, Alexandra Arènes, & Axelle Grégoire
TIPPER VIDEO ARTISTS
Studio Armin Linke: Armin Linke, Giulia Bruno, Giuseppe Ielasi, Martina Pozzan, Katalin Simon Trevor Birkenholtz & Bruce Rhoads Isabelle Carbonell Anna Friz & Rodrigo Ríos Zunino Duane Peterson
FIELD REPORTS BY
Ernest Alfred Russell Ngadiyali Ashley Tom Bassett & Carol Spindel Susanna Blackwell Gillian Bogart & Gde Putra Clive Brasier Nathalia Brichet Jericho Brown Kate Brown Dieter Bruneel, Hanne Cottyn, & Esther Beeckaert Nils Bubandt Matthew Buttacavoli & Geoff McPherson Zachary Caple Isabelle Carbonell Marcela Cely-Santos Rachel Cypher Lionel Devlieger Jacob Doherty Adrian Drummond-Cole Pierre Du Plessis Paulla Ebron Bettina Fach & Baris Salihogu Lyle Fearnley & Christos Lynteris Elizabeth Fenn Rosa E. Ficek Irwin N. Forseth & Anne F. Innis Scott Frickel Anna Friz & Rodrigo Ríos Zunino Peter Funch Jennifer Gabrys Elaine Gan Matteo Garbelotto Scott F. Gilbert Deborah M. Gordon Michael G. Hadfield James M. Hassell, Michael Begon, Melissa J. Ward, & Eric M. Fèvre Gabrielle Hecht Cornelia Hesse-Honegger Iftekhar Iqbal Norio Ishida & Daisuke Naito Chris Jordan Frédéric Keck Alder Keleman Saxena Jonathan Kolby & Lee Berger Agata Kowalewska Lead Belly (Huddie William Ledbetter) Alex Liebman & Robert G. Wallace Audrey Lin & Morgan Myers Andrew B. Liu David Mackenzie James Maguire Andrew Mathews John R. McNeill Anne-Sophie Milon & Jan Zalasiewicz Lina Mounzer Ursula Münster Kelsi Nagy Katy Overstreet Alyssa Paredes Ivette Perfecto Stephen Pyne Evelyn Reilly Bitty A. Roy, Helen M. Alexander, Jennifer Davidson, Faith T. Campbell, Jeremy J. Burdon, Richard Sniezko, & Clive Brasier Helene Schmitz Jens Seeberg David Skelly, A. Z. Andis Arietta, & Max Lambert Nathan Snow & Gary Witmer Juliana Spahr Serena Stein Lesley Stern Bettina Stoetzer Lucienne Strivay & Catherine Mougenot Mike Sugarman Heather Anne Swanson Michael G. Vann Michale Vine Martin Vodopivec, Tjaša Kogovšek, & Alenka Malej Marissa Weiss Sue Wright Lei Yang & Fangkai Zhao Jerry Zee Alexis Zimmer
Trevor Birkenholtz & Bruce Rhoads Lili Carr Victoria Baskin Coffey Jennifer Deger Alder Keleman Saxena Feifei Zhou
DETONATOR LANDSCAPE GUEST ARTISTS
Larry Botchway Andy Everson Amy Lien & Enzo Camacho Nancy McDinny
OTHER CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS AND POETS
Bayla Arietta Tavish Campbell Amy Clampitt Liz Clarke Ken Cockburn Imitiaz Dharker Beth Ann Fennelly Stanley Tan Hanjie Jane Hirshfield Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner Jaś Kapela Hiroshi Kawigashi Rejin Leys Emmy Lingscheit Takashi Morizumi Ruth Padel John Rego Nova Ruth Craig Santos Perez Valencia Robin Jared Shomo Kim Stringfellow Shaun Tan Ryan Walsh
WITH GRATITUDE TO
Lokaseena A. R. Ammons Mohamad Arief Inger Christensen Augustus deMorgan Seamus Heaney Edna St. Vincent Millay Marianne Moore William Shakespeare Wislawa Szymborska
Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene Cooking Sections: Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts Aboriginal Corporation Stanford Digital Projects: Friederike Sundaram, Jasmine Mulliken, Greta Lindquist, Alan Harvey Zander Bamford-Brown Nils Bubandt Andrés Camacho Isabelle Carbonell Paulla Ebron Anna Friz Peter Funch Elaine Gan Jennifer González Donna Haraway Bruce Keleman Caleb Kingston Mia Korsbæk Adrian Lahoud Jessica Madison Pisatá & Kathryn Gougelet Fabio Malfatti Warren Sack James Scott Jane Sloan Abram Stern Heather Swanson
Maria Breil Rachel Cypher Pierre Du Plessis Kirsten Keller Sathvik Nori Katy Overstreet S. M. Pruis Zahirah Suhaimi
DESIGN & UPLOAD ASSISTANTS
Nicole Deger-Beauman Matthew Buttacavoli Matthew Darmour-Paul Mirana Rideout Fikriyah Winata Kathryn Gougelet (Janet Batz, Riley Block, Rueben Cantacuzino Levy, Brandon Cornell, Queenie Don, Joseph Duerr, Chiara Fishburne, Nona Golan, Benjamin Gonzalez Cueto, Natalie Griffin, Yingshi Liang, Tara McAteer, Alejandro Morgana, Woodlyn Rhodes, Samuel Webster)
Maria Saeki June Tong Limal Harris
WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR FUNDING FROM
Danish National Research Foundation James Cook University Aarhus University Aarhus Universitet Forskningsfond University of California, Santa Cruz Royal College of Art