Zurkow combines environmental themes with popular culture to create artworks that are both playful and thought provoking.

Dear Climate Posters
Dear Climate, 2014
Zurkow along with Una Chaudhuri, Oliver Kellhammer, Fritz Ertl, and Sarah Rothberg create soundscapes and agitprop posters that highlight the fears and desires associated with climate change. The group presents their posters to the climate with an open letter:

Dear Climate,

These broadsheets, really just bits of paper, are our missive, our small odes of affection and awe, and our self-helpful hints that have been scattered by our whirlwinds. They are our apologies, our jest and protest, our bright ideas, bad ideas, and mental quick fixes. We’d like to make amends, to start by shifting relations: with you, with other species, and our own tempestuous inner climate, too.

If you’ll accept them, dear Climate, these offerings will seal our promise to meet the terrors ahead and build the tolerances they will demand.1

Dear Climate Posters

Poster Child
Poster Child, 2007
In this animated installation, Zurkow merges icons of climate change and American gun culture. A polar bear and unclothed, pink children inhabit an Arctic seascape—they ride melting icebergs on a shimmering ocean littered with electronic waste. Both bear and children could be seen as symbols of innocence and vulnerability, but Zurkow subverts these associations with images of violence. The children carry guns that they enthusiastically fire into the air; the bear tears into the flesh of prey she’s recently caught—blood stains her paws and the ice floe she rides. In Zurkow’s animation, the bear and children oscillate between aggressor and victim.2 They perhaps represent our own difficult position in the midst of climate change—our daily habits contribute to global warming and environmental degradation and we also suffer the consequences of unstable weather patterns and economic dislocation.

Poster Child

See Zurkow’s website.

1 Dear Climate website.
2 Linda Weintraub, To Life! Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2012), 314-318.


Dunne-and-Raby projects imagine near-future scenarios informed by the practices of industrial design. Their work is neither utopian nor dystopian; instead it creates imperfect solutions to techno-cultural problems and embraces conflicting desires.

Dunne describes his work:
"The kind of pleasures you get from reading a book or watching a film, I think are the kinds of things we’re trying to explore in relation to products. How can you design products that provide complex and complicated pleasures?"

"I guess we’re attracted to the bad side of people. The side that is complicated, contradictory, irrational. And we’re really curious if you filled up a room or a space with objects that reflected those values, how that material world would look different from the material world that surrounds us now."1

Design for an Overpopulated Planet, 2010
Dunne and Raby collaborated with writer Alex Burrett and photographer Jason Evans to create several scenarios that examine the implications of a global population boom. In one project, No. 1: Foragers, a community responds to food scarcity by augmenting their digestive systems with a variety of technologies that permit them eat foods that were previously inedible. "What if it were possible to extract nutritional value from non-human foods using a combination of synthetic biology and new digestive devices inspired by the digestive systems of other mammals, birds, fish, and insects?"2 The foragers with help from their augmentations find sustenance in leaves, algae, grass, and flowers.

See Dunne and Raby's website.

1 Bill Moggridge, Designing Interactions (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007; March 2003 interview documented in the book’s companion DVD).
2 Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013), 151.


Cohen creates speculative design projects that engage with art, technology, and biology. The projects “draw attention to the social, cultural and ethical implications of new technologies. The resulting design proposals do not provide answers, but they make complex issues tangible, and therefore debatable.”1

Life Support, 2008
For this project, Cohen imagines augmented animals that assist human health. In one scenario, a genetically modified sheep acts as a living dialysis machine for a human with kidney failure. Every night blood passes between human and sheep; the sheep’s healthy kidneys filter the blood before its returned to the human. In another scenario, a mechanically modified greyhound assists the breathing of a human with respiratory problems.

Life Support diagram
Life Support

See Cohen’s website.

1 Regine Debatty, “Life Support — Could Animals be Transformed into Medical Devices?” We Make Money Not Art (July 1, 2008)


Laval-Jeantet and Mangin — known as the collective Art Oriente Objet — play with the boundaries between species.

May the Horse Live in Me, 2011
In this performance piece, Mangin injects Laval-Jeantet with horse-blood plasma. To prevent an allergic reaction to the foreign fluid, Laval-Jeanet prepared her body through a series of small-dose injections of horse immunoglobulin. Laval-Jeantet also dressed for the occasion in horse-hoof stilts.

Laval-Jeantet describes the experience of her trans-species blood transfusion: “I had the feeling of being extra-human. I was not in my usual body. I was hyper-powerful, hyper-sensitive, hyper-nervous, and very diffident, the emotionalism of an herbivore.”1

Artists’ Skin Culture, 1996
Laval-Jeantet and Mangin combine their skin cells with those of a pig to grow small sheets of skin that they then tattoo with images of endangered species. “These trans-species totems are ultimately and ideally grafted onto compliant art collectors, who can then make these art bodies literally part of their own.”2

Artists's Skin Culture

See Art Oriente Objet’s website.

1 Arthur I. Miller, Colliding Worlds: How Cutting-Edge Science is Redefining Contemporary Art (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2014), 224.
2 Sk-interfaces exhibit


Augmented Animal, 2001
Auger and Loizeau imagine technologies that assist squirrels in finding food, protect rodents from predators, and help dogs adapt to the restrictions of domestic life. In one scenario, a dog’s tail communicates her emotional state with the help of LED text. Phrases like “I’d like my dinner” or “I really love you” appear when the dog wags her tail. In another scenario, a squirrel records the GPS location of a buried nut using a device attached to his wrist. When he needs to retrieve the nut, a red light flashes on the wrist device indicating the exact location of his stash. A third scenario gives night vision goggles to a rodent, helping her avoid predators who hunt in low light.1

Augmented Rodent

See Auger’s website.

1 Paola Antonelli, ed., Design and the Elastic Mind (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2008), 35.


Bowen creates interactive sculptures that include inputs from clouds, wind, water, and insects.

Fly Blimps, 2014
House flies float in passenger compartments attached to helium-filled balloons. The compartments provide food, water, and light to sustain the insect aviators. Fly activity directs the movement of the balloons — “the flies are essentially the brain of each of the devices, determining how they interact and respond to the space as well as the other devices.”1

Cloud Piano, 2014
A piano plays music based on the movement and shape of clouds: a camera records the clouds, software interprets the cloud patterns, and robotic actuators press the piano’s key.

Cloud Piano

See Bowen’s website.

1 David Bowen, Fly Blimps