Nicolas Nova & DISNOVATION.ORG – A Bestiary of Anthropocene, On Hybrid Plants, Animals, Minerals, Fungi, and Other Specimens


Onomatopee, ISBN: 978-9493148444, English, 256 pages, 2021, The Netherlands

Forget fantasies of shiny cyborgs or obedient, flawless robots ready to serve human will. The real-life mix of the organic and the artificial in the Anthropocene is dirtier, more sinister and more unsettled. This bestiary (inspired by the mediaeval bestiaries) is an excellent exercise in exploring the transplantation of the biosphere into the technosphere and finding new definitions of “interspecies”. Our ‘post-natural’ world is sampled through the sixty hybrid specimens and creatures selected, meticulously depicted, categorised and described, truly expressing man’s encroachment on nature. The eleven essays complete the overall vision with positions on key topics such as: Classification, Artificiality, Recombinant Commons, Living with Non-Living, Planetary Indigestions, Ferality, etc. Nicolas Nova, (Nicolas Maigret and Maria Roszkowska) and Onomatopee turned out to be a kind of dream team for this sort of publication. Nova has in the past explored the social and cultural edges of technologies, while the Disnovation group has produced insightful artworks that question industrial technological paradigms, and Onomatopee has published beautifully designed radical books on similar themes. Printed in silver ink on all-black pages and graphically impeccable, this book is a complex but welcome addition.