Reshaping the Shape: Embodiment, Ecology, and Culture of a Postnatural Fish

This work was created for Confluence Ecologies, an exhibition that was part of Berlin-based cultural institution HKW's Anthropocene River initiative. The more my collaborator Andrew Yang and I learned about the complex itineraries of these two recently introduced Asian Carps- Bighead and Silver, the more we recognized that these are indeed creatures of the Anthropocene. They are truly hated for their invasiveness in the Mississippi watershed, but they also need to be reckoned with as they become part of the river’s second nature. Conservation professionals recognize the fish is in fact naturalized. By exploring the entangled cultural and natural history of the carp fundamental questions arise concerning how humans, non-humans, and landscapes reshape each other. Reshaping the Shape seeks to follow the stories and forms through which the Asian Carp might be reimagined and transformed from public enemy to a mascot of a global commons.
At Southern Illinois Museum, Carbondale, October 11-November 30