New Naturalism

A series of works based in the tradition of naturalism while acknowledging the newly minted Anthropocene epoch. It's as much about civilization as nature, as much about science as fiction. Detailed images and information make ambiguous pairings, allowing the viewer to bring his or her own knowledge and judgment to the piece.

dunkleosteus

I: Dunkleosteus/ Hellas-Planatia seabed/ Kuwait City

Dunkleosteus, a giant armored fish that dominated the Devonian, exemplified a form that disappeared from the fossil record as quickly as it appeared.


birch bark beetle

II: Birch bark beetle/ Blythe geoglyphs/ Amazonian deforestation

The patterns etched by boring beetles, stone tools, and massive land movers are largely very similar.


cosmic microwave background radiation

III: Bruised cosmic microwave background radiation/ Male ants


termite mound

V: Worker termites in mound/ Shuwaikh flour mill

Termite colony mounds feature complex ventilation systems, carefully cultivated fungal gardens, and networks of tunnels that provide access to storehouses, nurseries, and chambers that acknowledge social hierarchy.


lystrosaurus

VI: Lystrosaurus/ Indians at the River Ganges

For a period of many thousand years post Permian extinction, the group of mammal-like reptiles called Lystrosaurs were thought to comprise over 90% of animals living on land.


gorgonopsid

VII: Gorgonopsid/ Great Ziggurat of Ur/ Drought

The predatory therapsid family Gorgonopsidae was eradicated after severe climate change followed by geologic disruption near the end of the Permian.


thylacine

VIII: Thylacine/ Pyramid of the Magician, Uxmal/ Forest fire

Thylacine, the last marsupial predator, was systematically annihilated under government order by the sheep farmers who colonized the island of Tasmania.


grey wolf

IX: Grey wolf/ Great Pyramid of Giza


trilobite + calendar stone

X: Trilobite/ Aztec Calendar Stone


tasmanian devil cancer

XI: Tasmanian devil with cancer/ Toba Caldera eruption

Inbreeding has resulted in Tasmanian Devil populations that are genetically identical. Consequently, lethal, non-viral cancer are spread simply via physical contact. Incidentally, the Toba caldera eruption nearly 74,000 years ago left less than ten thousand humans alive on the planet, resulting in a significant genetic bottleneck.


desert locust swarm

XIII: Desert Locust swarm/ Pudding/ Open-pit iron mine

The insatiable, scouring power of the locust swarm still has the capacity to devastate regions by exhausting all available natural resources.


hallucigenia

XIV: Hadean land formation/ Hallucigenia/ Tidal island off Highway 101


trilobite + tide computer

XV: Trilobite/ Victorian tide computer


limulus gathering

XVI: Limulus spawn gathering/ Moon phases/ Cro-Magnon tool

Limuli, by some unknown chemical means, understand the complex moon and tide cycles, allowing them to synchronize their beaching during mating season.


backswimmer + tick + ebola

XVII: Backswimmer with fish/ North American soft tick/ Human hepatocytes with ebola

It's easy to think of food chains as dominated by complex, highly evolved organisms with more primitive creatures making up the lower rungs. In many cases, food chains flow in the opposite direction.


caddisfly larvae

XVIII: Caddisfly larvae with casings/ Pueblo Bonito

Caddisfly larvae build ornate shelters by gathering raw materials from their environment and cementing that material with a natural silk binding.


stromatolites

XIX: Stromatolites/ Eclipse/ German apartment buildings


coelacanth

XXII: Coelacanth/ Animal Locomotion Plate No. 722

Coelacanth, a relative of the first fish to move onto land, has pectoral and pelvic fin pairs that move in opposite conjunction, mimicking the locomotion of a quadruped.


tardigrades

XXIII: Tardigrades/ Ganges River basin