Making New Land: An Intertidal Aesthetics




Making New Land is an essay in theory-fiction set in a near future, where the oceans have disappeared. In these devastated landscapes, a first person narrator investigates unsolved biological enigmas on Earth and on Mars. In the footsteps of a fictional group of Anarcho-botanists called Sea for Space, the story alternates a melancholic longing for the beauty of intertidal and coastal lifeforms with futuristic visions of new species engineered by humans as new companions.

The scenario explores archetypal figures of plant-human coexistence: from the botanical gaze to a nostalgic longing for connection, and from the hubris of genetical engineering to the dream of a post-humanism communion with the vegetal. The fictional story is interwoven with scholarly references and a critical discussions of artistic and literary works dealing with the fauna, flora and mythologies of the seaside, which form the outlines of an 'Intertidal Aesthetics'.

Author Biography

Thomas Pausz, Iceland University of the Arts

Thomas Pausz (b. Paris, 1978) is a critical designer and artist based in Reykjavik. In his interdisciplinary practice, Pausz stages real and fictional ecosystems to amplify the voice of non-human entities through careful work on media and narratives. In his entangled scenarios intersecting experimental science, ethics and contemporary design, Thomas Pausz offers a poetic space for renegotiating technological and biological hierarchies.

Recent exhibitions include Interspecies Futures (IF) at the Center for Book Arts, New York (2021); The Wildflower at Hafnarborg Museum, Iceland (2020); Creatures Made to Measure at Design Museum Gent (2019); Food Bigger than the Plate at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2019); Species without Spaces at the Istanbul Design Biennale (2018); Making New Land at the Swamp Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale (2018); and Politics of Food: Markets and Mouvements at the Delfina Foundation, London (2016).


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How to Cite

Pausz, Thomas. 2021. “Making New Land: An Intertidal Aesthetics”. Performance Philosophy 6 (2):174-92.