C.A.T.: Catastrophic Animals on Terra – A guidebook to life

Art & science

Artistic imaginations concerning nature become markedly influenced by new insights of various scientific disciplines. In order to narrow down this rather broad topic, the research focused on the question of ‘what is a forest?’. Students were exposed to a multidisciplinary scientific discourse inspired by many new theoretical and practical silvicultural insights. These theoretical discussions regarding our relationship with nature were complemented by an experiential and experimental component where students could deepen their understanding on forests through practical on-site research. For this purpose, they stayed in the forests of Transcarpathia (Ukraine) for ten days in July 2017. Together with local stakeholders, visions and versions of what a forest ‘is’ were debated. In a second phase, the group returned to the Ukrainian forests in September 2018 to assemble its research findings, allies and questions around a plot of land in Nyzhnje Selyshche in search for a latent commons. The 48-hour happening, ‘The Landing is on Friday’, was an event of ‘speculative ecology’. It took place between trees and ruins and welcomed aliens that had emerged beyond our (knowledge)horizons. The guidebook produced results from the collective experience in speculative research.

Texts by: Brishty Alam, Guadalupe Aldrete, Golnaz Bashiri, Rosie Benn, Margit Busch, Valerie Deifel, Johanna Folkmann, Maximilian Gallo, Athanasios Gramosis, Matilde Igual Capdevila, Bernd Kräftner, Rafael Lippuner, Marko Marković, Frédérique Neuts, Marina Rebhandl
Editors: Bernd Kräftner, Brishty Alam, Valerie Deifel
Publisher: University of Applied Arts Vienna, 2019

Cooperation partners: Molotok (Khust rayon public organization), Bogdan Popov (Ecosololutions Forge), Rupert Seidl (University of Natural Resources & Life Sciences Vienna)

© 2019, C.A.T. illustration: Rosie Benn. Graphic design: Matilde Igual Capdevilla.
ISBN: 978-3950443110
Herausgeber: Bernd Kräftner, Brishty Alam, Valerie Deifel
Verlag: Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien
Sprache: Englisch
From 2016–19 students of the Art&Science master course have been working on the implications of a contemporary academic discourse that aims at reframing our understanding of ‘nature’ through the annual topic ‘In the Woods – In the Wild’.