Relationscapes of Extinction, and More Life

Zincland to Zealandia



art of wit(h)nessing, multinatural, relationscapes, extinction, more life, queer ecology, multispecies recovery, Zealandia, Henri Bergson, Rachel Carson, planetarity, Gayatri Spivak, Anthropocene-in-the-making, vital affects


3:20 a.m. Friday, 14 August 2020: Wildes Meadow, the Illawarra highlands, Wodi Wodi First Peoples and Yuin nation Countries, south-eastern Australia. A Boobook is calling. This sonorous guide in refrain, before and after the Ngā Tūtaki – Encounter/s: Agency, Embodiment, Exchange, Ecologies conference in Tāmaki Makaurau, some eight months later. Two days ago, the SARS-CoV-2 lockdown lifted in New South Wales. Only now can you light a match without visceral trepidation. Without a gut return to the climate crisis inferno of the 2019–2020 summer. Anthropocene-in-the-making? Yes. No. These are Viral Bushranger Times. Anything can happen now.

The shadows trace of the Zincland project is one mode of more-than-human wit(h)nessing that I have introduced elsewhere from an ecology and ethos of open field practice where contemporary art and writing converges with the feminist, decolonising environmental humanities and sciences. Following the conference, I had a plan to travel south, to Pōneke/Wellington and Ōtepoti/Dunedin, to continue a linked project of engaging with naturecultures of extinction, to wit(h)ness two sites of multispecies recovery and ecological restoration. If Zincland took me to Aotearoa, I had no inkling of what I might encounter in this onward momentum of and from the shadows trace. So, let me take you there. Let me pick up this passage of wit(h)nessing and translation one day after leaving Tāmaki Makaurau.       

Author Biography

Louise Boscacci, National Art School, Gadigal Country, Australia

Louise Boscacci is an artist researcher and natureculture writer working in the overlap of the ecological humanities and contemporary art investigations. Her publications include 100 Atmospheres: Studies in Scale and Wonder (OHP, 2019), with new writing in Water Lore: Practice, Place and Poetics (Routledge, 2022). Boscacci is a Lecturer at the National Art School, Sydney, and lives on unceded Gundungurra and Gadigal lands, Australia.