“I believe in the lives of many things—not only living animals, flowers and so forth, but also a small cup, your camera, your watch, your shoes… everything has its own life. It was born somewhere, and it will be worn out and reborn. In Kyoto you find a very interesting tomb called fudezuka. It’s a tombstone for old pens. Once you use your pens, you cannot put them in the garbage, you have to preform a ritual.”  – comments by Hidetoshi Kato found in the margin of Kenji Ekuan’s interview in Project Japan, Metabolism Talks, under a caption entitled “spirit.”

fudezuka mound in Kyoto, image toranosuke

Read the Gutai Manifesto from 1956

Animal and plant species around the world may be threatened by warmer global temperatures.

Learn more about the SIXTH EXTINCTION.

READ: On the Cusp of Climate Change, NY TIMES

Building an Ark for the Anthropocene, NY TIMES

Visit and experience Maya Lin’s What’s Missing? project (further context here).

So far this semester we’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about how to communicate the difficult realities of environmental change (such as changes in climate/weather, what the Anthropocene is etc.) to public audiences through art and design. After reviewing “On the Cusp of Climate Change,” “Building an Ark for the Anthropocene”and visiting Maya Lin’s What’s Missing project, think about how might you address the effects of climate change in response to one specific non-human entity (such as specific animal or bird, or species of plant or tree etc.). Instead of imagining a human audience for an imaginary project, imagine what might you make FOR a non-human subject — knowing what you do about the challenges they face?  What might you make and how would this non-human audience alter your approach?

Jamie Kruse is an artist, designer and part-time faculty at Parsons School for Design. In 2005 she co-founded smudge, ( with Elizabeth Ellsworth, based in Brooklyn, NY. She is the author of Friends of the Pleistocene:

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