Museum of the Anthropocene

Kultura Współczesna. Teoria, Interpretacje, Praktyka
nr 1(113)/2021
Museum of the Anthropocene
Table of contents

Museum of the Anthropocene

Recognised as archives documenting natural research and human impact on nature and biodiversity loss, natural history museums prompt questions about how to explore, interpret and put their collections in context so as to provoke a discussion on the consequences of constructed concepts of nature, pressing ecological issues, and ethical obligations towards nonhuman beings and the next generation. Answers to these questions may be found in the analysis of selected works by Mark Dion who uses museum instruments and collections not so much to criticise the museum itself but to transform it into an agora. The author studies the artist’s works that refer to cabinets of curiosities. She argues that Dion’s Wunderkammer are visual quotations derived from their 16th and 17th century prototypes. Put in a new context, the quotations eliminate boundaries between words and images, theory and practice, art and science, nature and culture. The said quotations of cabinets of curiosities are of preposterous nature. Dion’s ‘mobile dioramas’ and his Ursus Maritimus project (1992–2002) are in turn recognised as subversive works where natural history museum instruments are used to unveil the institutional framework responsible for our seeing of nature and problems of the Anthropocene such as biodiversity loss.

Key words: Mark Dion, natural history museum, Anthropocene, diorama, a cabinet of curiosities



Aloi, Giovanni. Speculative Taxidermy. Natural History, Animal Surfaces, and Art in the Anthropocene. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018.

Arends, Bergit. Contemporary art, archives and environmental change in the age of the Anthropocene. Royal Holloway, University of London, Geography. Wrzesień 2017. https://pure.

Blazwick, Iwona. „Introduction”. W: Theatre of the Natural World / Mark Dion, red. Iwona Blazwick. London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2018.

Dion, Mark, Lisa G. Corrin, Miwon Kwon, Norman Bryson. Mark Dion. London: Phaidon, 1997.

Erickson, Ruth, red., Mark Dion: Misadventures of a 21st-Century Naturalist. New Haven– London: The Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston in association with Yale University Press, 2017.

Macnaghten, Phil, John Urry. Alternatywne przyrody. Nowe myślenie o przyrodzie i społeczeństwie. Tłum. Bogdan Baran. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe „Scholar”, 2005.

Oakland Museum of California. The Marvelous Museum. Orphans, Curiosities and Treasures. A Mark Dion Project. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2010.

Popczyk, Maria. Estetyczne przestrzenie ekspozycji muzealnych. Artefakty przyrody i dzieła sztuki. Kraków: Universitas, 2008.

Salwa, Mateusz. „Sztuka współczesna jako doświadczenie nowoczesności. Historia «preposteryjna» Mieke Bal”. W: Sztuka w kulturze, red. Jaromir Jeszke. Kalisz: Wydział PedagogicznoArtystyczny UAM, 2011.

Sheehy, Colleen J., red., Cabinet of Curiosities. Mark Dion and the University as Installation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006.

A global demand for ivory has caused a decimation of two endangered species: the African elephant and the Indian elephant. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, ivory was a popular material for the production of everyday objects. Appreciated for its physical properties (durability, flexibility, malleability), this valuable material obtained from elephant tusks was widely used in the production of billiard balls, piano keytops, cutlery handles, buttons, and jewellery, defining the material culture also outside the areas of elephants’ natural habitats. It was not until plastic entered mass production that ivory was replaced as a bourgeois material for daily use. This historical insight into the transition from killing elephants for ‘white gold’ to the boom of the plastic age prompts a materially oriented analysis of the Anthropocene through the prism of human–animal relationships, colonial exploitation of natural resources, and the origins of Western consumer culture. Forming multiple links between nature and culture, ivory emerges as the ultimate artefact of the Anthropocene.

Key words: ivory, plastic, colonialism, racism, materialism



Chaiklin, Martha. „Ivory in world history – Early Modern trade in context”. History Compass 8, 6 (2010).

Davis, Heather. „Life and death in the Anthropocene: A short history of plastic”. W: Art in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Aesthetics, Politics, Environments and Epistemologies, red. Etienne Turpin, Heather Davis. London: Open Humanities Press, 2015.

Friedel, Robert. Pioneer Plastic: The Making and Selling of Celluloid. Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1983.

Hartman, Saidiya. Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Hecht, Gabrielle. „Interscalar vehicles for an African Anthropocene: On waste, temporality, and violence”. Cultural Anthropology 33, 1 (2018).

Holder, Charles F. The Ivory King: A Popular History of the Elephant and Its Allies. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1886.

Liboiron, Max. „Redefining pollution and action: The matter of plastics”. Journal of Material Culture 21, 1 (2016).

Maskell, Alfred. Ivories. London: Methuen and Co., 1905.

McClintock, Anne. Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest. London: Routledge, 1995.

Meikle, Jeffrey L. American Plastic: A Cultural History. New Brunswick, London: Rutgers University Press, 1995.

Moore, Jason W., Raj Patel. „Tania natura”. W: O jeden las za daleko: Demokracja, kapitalizm i nieposłuszeństwo ekologiczne w Polsce, red. Przemysław Czapliński, Dawid Gostyński, Joanna B. Bednarek. Tłum. Andrzej W. Nowak. Warszawa: Instytut Wydawniczy Książka i Prasa, 2019.

Owen, Richard. „The ivory and teeth of commerce”. The Journal of the Society of Arts 5, 213 (1856).

Yusoff, Kathryn. A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018.

This article investigates to what extent the concept of Anthropocene allows for grasping the specificity of particular ecosystems and their complex histories. The point of focus here is the Upper Mississippi River Valley and a set of historical and contemporary discourses coalescing around it. Starting with the early travelogues and incorporating modern mapping attempts, a popular classic monograph by Calvin R. Fremling and the contemporary documenting projects such as Mississippi. An Anthropocene River and The American Bottom, the article traces the discursive discontinuities that may provide the ground for conceiving the alternative histories of the Anthropocene, more inclusive of indigenous knowledge, open to multiple knowledge registers, and transcending beyond the Eurocentric models of rationalism supporting the economy of extraction. To this end, a new understanding of relational ontologies is suggested following the notion of other-than-human persons as proposed by anthropologists interested in revisiting the basic tenets of animism and laying foundations for new animism (while taking various aspects of indigenous knowledge into account). Tapping into the concept of Place-Thought, the essay proposes an effective decolonisation of the discussion on the Anthropocene.

Key words: Mississippi, Midwest, Anthropocene, environmental humanities, decolonisation of knowledge



Anfinson, John O. The River We Have Wrought. A History of Upper Mississippi. Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press, 2003.

Carver, Louise. Mater and mattering the Mississippi: Mother river and mother tongues. Antropocene Curriculum. 8 października 2019.

Chwałczyk, Franciszek. „Around the Anthropocene in eighty names – considering the Urbanocene proposition”. Sustainability 12, 11 (2020).

Colter, Jennifer, Jesse Vogler. The Significant and Insignificant Mounds. The American Bottom.

Fremling, Calvin R. Immortal River. The Upper Mississippi in Ancient and Modern Times. Madison, London: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2005.

Habekuss, Fritz. A River Indicts. Anthropocene Curriculum. 4 września 2020.

Johnson, Elisabeth, Harlan Morehouse, Simon Dalby, Jessi Lehman, Sara Nelson, Rory Rowan, Stephanie Wakefield, Kathryn Yusoff. „After the Anthropocene: politics and geographic inquiry for the new epoch”. Progress in Human Geography 38, 3 (2014).

Olson, Valeri, Messeri Lisa. „Beyond the Anthropocene. Un-Earthing the epoch”. Environment and Society: Advances in Research 6, 1 (2015).

Savageau, Cheryl. „Stories, language, and the land”. English Language Notes 58, 1 (2020).

Todd, Zoe. „Indigenizing Anthropocene”. W: Art in the Anthropocene. Encounters Among Aesthetics, Politics, Environments and Epistemologies, red. Heather Davis, Etienne Turpin. London: Open Humanities Press, 2015.

Twain, Mark. Mississippi Writings. Classic Illustrated Edition. Heritage Illustrated Publishing 2014.

Watts, Vanessa. „Indigenous place-thought and agency amongst humans and non-humans (First Woman and Sky Woman go on a European world tour!)”. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education and Society 2, 1 (2013).

Yusoff, Kathryn. „Geologic life: Prehistory, climate, futures in the Anthropocene”. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 31, 5 (2013).

What curatorial gesture would make it possible to give rise to a temporary museum in situ where anthropogenic inscriptions could be presented by the living exhibits themselves? In this article the past of the Anthropocene is defined as a time of intensified activity of Homo sapiens in the early Holocene, before our impact on the hydrosphere, geosphere and atmosphere became irreversible. The author ponders whether the current definition of a natural history museum can incorporate a project of a living, embodied, post-anthropocentric and post-institutional museum. She suggests plants as essential partners in the human becoming across the biosphere. Chlorophyll organisms initiated the Great Oxidation Event, or Oxygen Catastrophe, which led not only to the extinction of anaerobic organisms but also to the proliferation of oxygen-dependent life, including humans. The human-plant co-existence is studied through the consequences of the ‘desire for sunlight’ of the former and the ‘desire for mobility’ of the latter. Synanthropic plants, which thrive growing next to people, emerge as the protagonists of this story, with the shared interspecies history and anthropogenic mutations inscribed in their bodies. This is a story of the human–plant co-evolution where contemporary, ‘spontaneous’ synanthropic plants are depicted as agents. In this context the author describes the artistic practices of Andrea Haenggi, analysing them as curatorial gestures for an interspecies dialogue within the framework of a ‘museum setting’.

Key words: plants, natural history museum, environmental protection, choreography, in situ



Alaimo, Stacy. „Your shell on acid: Material immersion, Anthropocene dissolves”. W: Anthropocene Feminism, red. Richard A. Grusin. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

Åsberg, Cecilia, Janna Holmstedt, Marietta Radomska. „Methodologies of kelp: on feminist posthumanities, transversal knowledge production and multispecies ethics in an age of entanglement”. W: The Kelp Congress, red. Hilde Mehti, Neal Cahoon, Annette Wolfsberger. Svolvær: NNKS Press, 2020.

Attala, Luci. „‘The Edibility Approach’: Using edibility to explore relationships, plant agency and the porosity of species’ boundaries”. Advances in Anthropology 3, 7 (2017).

Barad, Karen. „Posthumanistyczna performatywność: Ku zrozumieniu, jak materia zaczyna mieć znaczenie”. W: Teorie wywrotowe: Antologia przekładów, red. Aldona Gajewska. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Poznańskie, 2012.

Chakrabarty, Dipesh. „Klimat historii. Cztery tezy”. Tłum. Magda Szcześniak. Teksty Drugie 5 (2014).

Crosby, Alfred W. Imperializm ekologiczny: Biologiczna ekspansja Europy 900–1900. Tłum. Maciej Kowalczuk. Warszawa: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1999.

Hallé, Francis. In Praise of Plants. Portland: Timber Press, 2011.

Heise, Ursula K. Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.

Karafyllis, Nicole. „‘Hey Plants. Take a Walk on the Wild Side!’: The ethics of seeds and seed banks”. W: Plant Ethics: Concepts and Applications, red. Angela Kallhoff, Marcello Di Paola, Maria Schörgenhumer. Abingdon, New York: Routledge, 2018.

Lorimer, Jamie. Wildlife in the Anthropocene: Conservation after Nature. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015.

Pollan, Michael. The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World. New York: Random House, 2002.

Pouteau, Sylvie. „Plants as open beings: From aesthetics to plant-human ethics”. W: Plant Ethics: Concepts and Applications, red. Angela Kallhoff, Marcello Di Paola, Maria Schörgenhumer. Abingdon, New York: Routledge, 2018.

Scott, James C. Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States. New Haven, London: Yale University Press 2018.

Steffen, Will, Jacques Grinevald, Paul Crutzen, John McNeill. „The Anthropocene: conceptual and historical perspectives”. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A. Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences 369, 1938 (2011).

Sudnik-Wójcikowska, Barbara. Rośliny synantropijne. Warszawa: Multico Oficyna Wydawnicza, 2015.

This article describes the residency of the multimedia artist Karolina Grzywnowicz and a research team that accompanied her at the Botanic Garden of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. In the first section the authors offer a critical analysis of the discourses produced by the Garden and embedded in the modernist paradigm where nature and culture are perceived as separate constructs. This paradigm is juxtaposed with the imagination crisis (in envisaging the spatial scale of ecological crises and their processes) and human responsibility. The second section focuses on a performance tour of the Garden prepared by Grzywnowicz and her team at the end of their two-week-long project. The authors analyse this event using the category of speculative practice proposed by Isabelle Stengers. How does the narrative constructed by the artist resonate within the discourse created by the Garden? Has the artist’s speculative practice resulted in an alternative approach to the human–matter relationship? Has it changed the way in which people think about the Garden?

Key words: botanic garden, the Botanic Garden of the Jagiellonian University, Karolina Grzywnowicz, Biopolis, speculative practice



Barad, Karen. „Posthumanistyczna performatywność. Ku zrozumieniu, jak materia zaczyna mieć znaczenie”. Tłum. Joanna Bednarek. W: Teorie wywrotowe. Antologia przekładów, red. Agnieszka Gajewska. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Poznańskie, 2012.

Latour, Bruno. „Czekając na Gaję. Komponowanie wspólnego świata poprzez sztukę i politykę”. Tłum. Agnieszka Kowalczyk. W: Ekologie, red. Aleksandra Jach, Piotr Juskowiak, Agnieszka Kowalczyk. Łódź: Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi, 2014.

Mitka, Józef, Stanisław Flaga, Bogusław Binkiewicz, Stefan Gawroński, Marian Szewczyk. Kwiecista Małopolska. Dobór i charakterystyka rodzimych gatunków roślin kwietnych pod kątem różnych kierunków użytkowania. Kraków: Instytut Hodowli i Aklimatyzacji Roślin, 2019.

Morton, Timothy. Dark Ecology for a Logic of Future Coexistence. New York: Colombia University Press, 2016.

Rybicka, Elżbieta. „Biopolis – przyroda i miasto”. Teksty Drugie 2 (2018).

Stengers, Isabelle. „Speculative philosophy and the art of dramatization”. W: The Allure of Things: Process and Object in Contemporary Philosophy, red. Roland Faber, Andrew Goffey. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014. attachments/278931/295f7635e08fe947cb908ba3f414b7a3.pdf.

Zemanek, Alicja. „230 lat Ogrodu Botanicznego UJ (1783–2013)”. Alma Mater 158 (2013).

Zemanek, Bogdan. „Ogród Botaniczny Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego – współczesność”. Alma Mater 158 (2013).

Archaeological exhibitions from the last decade reveal a shift in the paradigm of thinking about the past. The role of humans in the narrative about prehistoric times has been decentralised in order to: (1) acknowledge and appreciate the part played by animals; and (2) make visitors more sensitive to the human vs. non-human being-in-the-world. By promoting symmetrical relationships between animals and humans, new archaeological exhibitions correspond to the most recent trends in the theory of archaeology: symmetrical archaeology, relational archaeology, and archaeological animal studies. Through implementing the demands of the current theoretical trends, the exhibitions are in line with the anthropocenic turn in museums displays and the humanities. Two examples of engaged critical archaeological museum studies are discussed: Neues Museum in Berlin and Lascaux IV – Center International de l’Art Pariétal. By joining the discussion on relations between humans and non-humans, biodiversity and past environments, they prompt a reflection on contemporary human attitude to nature and the current condition of the Earth.

Key words: archaeological museum, theory of archaeology, animal archaeology, symmetric archaeology, multispecies archaeology



Dodd, Adam, Karen A. Rader, Liv E. Thorsen. „Introduction: making animals visible”. W: Animals on Display. The Creaturely in Museums, Zoos, and Natural History, red. Liv E. Thorsen, Karen A. Rader, Adam Dodd. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2013.

Domańska, Ewa. „Historia zwierząt”. Konteksty 4 (2009).

Domańska, Ewa. „The eco-ecumene and multispecies history”. W: Multispecies Archaeology, red. Suzanne Pilaar-Birch. New York: Routledge, 2018.

Domańska, Ewa. „Wiedza o przeszłości – perspektywy na przyszłość”. Kwartalnik Historyczny CXX, 2 (2003).

Domańska, Ewa, Bjørnar Olsen. „Wszyscy jesteśmy konstruktywistami (Odpowiedź na artykuł Jacka Kowalewskiego i Wojciecha Piaska: W poszukiwaniu utraconej Rzeczywistości. Uwagi na marginesie projektu «zwrotu ku rzeczom» w historiografii i archeologii)”. W: Rzeczy i ludzie. Humanistyka wobec materialności, red. Jacek Kowalewski, Wojciech Piasek, Marta Śliwa. Olsztyn: Instytut Filozofii Uniwersytetu Warmińsko-Mazurskiego, 2008.

Fudge, Erica. „A left-handed blow: writing the history of animals”. W: Representing Animals, red. Nigel Rothfels. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002.

Kost, Carin, Shumon T. Hussain. „Archaeo-ornithology: towards an archaeology of human-bird interfaces”. Environmental Archaeology 24, 4 (2019).

Lucas, Gavin. „Symbiotic architecture”. W: Multispecies Archaeology, red. Suzanne Pilaar-Birch. New York: Routledge, 2018.

Olsen, Bjørnar. W obronie rzeczy. Archeologia i ontologia przedmiotów. Tłum. Barbara Shallcross. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo IBL PAN, 2013.

Pilaar-Birch, Suzanne. „Introduction”. W: Multispecies Archaeology, red. Suzanne Pilaar-Birch. New York: Routledge, 2018.

Sterling, Colin. „Critical heritage and the posthumanities: problems and prospects”. International Journal of Heritage Studies 26, 11 (2020).

Stobiecka, Monika. Natura artefaktu, kultura eksponatu. Projekt krytycznego muzeum archeologicznego. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo IBL PAN, 2020.

Swain, Hedley. An Introduction to Museum Archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Sykes, Naomi. Beastly Questions. Animal Answers to Archaeological Issues. London: Bloomsbury, 2014.

Watts, Christopher. „Relational archaeologies: roots and routes”. W: Relational Archaeologies. Humans, Animals, Things, red. Christopher Watts. London–New York: Taylor and Francis, 2013.

Taxidermy is considered a highly controversial practice in modern times – even more so in the face of the Anthropocene and the rapidly declining biodiversity. Nevertheless, it is still performed and constitutes an important element of museum exhibitions and private collections. In the contemporary People’s Republic of China and Taiwan, taxidermy functions both as an exhibit, which by preserving animal corporeality serves different purposes, from cognitive to political, and as a commodity – an exclusive and expensive craft closely related to animal symbolism in Chinese culture. The aim of this article is to study taxidermies as exhibits and commodities, and propose their interpretations both in the space of the museum and the market. The unfolding analysis refers not only to contemporary Chinese culture and the perspective of the Anthropocene, but is also put in a broader context of taxidermy and its role in the ‘museum of the Anthropocene’. The proposed approaches serve the purpose of both understanding the role and position of taxidermy in China and Taiwan, and deconstructing the anthropocentric perspective of interpretation while focusing on the history of species and individual specimens as ‘undead’ testimonies of rapid changes taking place in the human age.

Key words: taxidermy, China, Taiwan, Anthropocene, museum



Aloi, Giovanni. Speculative Taxidermy: Natural History, Animal Surfaces, and Art in the Anthropocene. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018.

Baker, Steve. Picturing the Beast: Animals, Identity, and Representation. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993.

Berger, John. „Why look at animals?”. W: John Berger. About Looking. New York: Vintage Books, 1992.

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Jalais, Annu. „Reworlding the ancient Chinese tiger in the realm of the Asian Anthropocene”. Iternational Communication of Chinese Culture 5, 1 (2018).

Khun, Berthold. Ecological Civilisation in China. Berlin: Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, 2019.

Knight, John. „Introduction”. W: Wildlife in Asia: Cultural Perspectives, red. John Knight. New York: Routledge, 2004.

Morris, Pat. „A window on the world-wildlife dioramas”. W: Natural History Dioramas: History, Construction and Educational Role, red. Sue D. Tunnicliffe, Annette Scheersoi. Dordrecht: Springer, 2015.

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Poliquin, Rachel. The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012.

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Shukin, Nicole. Animal Capital: Rendering Life in Biopolitical Times. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009.


Chinese bibliography

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The definition of a natural history museum as an institution continues to evolve following the humanistic reflection on the Anthropocene. This article focuses on the history of the State Museum of Natural History in Lviv, one of the oldest institutions of this type, recently reopened after years of reconstruction. The text seeks to analyse the museum concept and operations through the prism of the contemporary debate on the human–nature–culture relationships. The primary questions include: (1) How was the human–nature relationship depicted in the museum space as the latter evolved into its modern concept? (2) Which problems and motives present in the museum exhibitions seem close to the contemporary challenges and vision of the Anthropocene? (3) What museum interpretations are possible in the context of old natural history collections and the contemporary debate on the museum’s function and its transformation? An important conclusion is that natural history collections not only provide a valuable material for natural research, but are also a significant testimony to changes occurring in the contemporary perception of the human–nature relationship and its impact on political, economic and cultural processes taking place in modern societies.

Key words: natural history museum, the State Museum of Natural History in Lviv, the Dzieduszycki Family Museum, Anthropocene, backteller, museum interpretation



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Möllers, Nina. „Cur(at)ing the planet – how to exhibit the Anthropocene and why”. W: Anthropocene: Envisioning the Future of the Age of Humans, red. Helmuth Trischler. RCC Perspectives, 2013.

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In her article the author analyses The Hunters (1957), a film directed by anthropologist and documentary filmmaker John Marshall, approaching it as an example of an archival object that extends the knowledge and experience of the Anthropocene. She discusses the potential of a documentary and anthropological film for informing about changes related to the ecological crisis. Using the story of the Bushmen from Marshall’s film, the author presents the previously omitted or marginalised ideas that shed new light on the crisis in the Ju/’hoansi community in the face of ongoing globalisation and development of Western civilisation. Inspired by the concept of ‘alternative natures’ proposed by Phil Macnaghten and John Urry, she identifies and interprets three types of nature that reflect the Western approach to the world in The Hunters, thus exposing the ethnographic myth of objective research. She argues that the Anthropocene is not only an epoch of progressing climate changes and pollution of ecosystems but also of profound interference with the lifestyles of distant cultures affected by the consequences of colonialism and the activities of anthropologists, ethnographers, and film crews.

Key words: Anthropocene, anthropological film, Bushmen, Ju/’hoansi, John Marshall



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White, Daniel. Film in the Anthropocene. Philosophy, Ecology, and Cybernetics. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

Young, Colin. „Observational cinema”. W: Principles of Visual Anthropology, red. Paul Hockings. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2003.

This article discusses ways of constructing sound archives by focusing on the relationship between what is to be archived and how. Rather than simply asking which medium to use and whether it is adequate for storing a certain type of information, the author ponders on another question: What if the possibility of storing data in itself is (or becomes) a certain form of primary information encoded in the archives of the Anthropocene? Consequently, the author does not focus only on sound collections – recordings of living creatures and products of civilisation. Instead he elaborates on methodological aspects that emerge in the process of making and archiving the audio representations of the Anthropocene, inspiring further epistemological questions and doubts. Seeking to resolve them, the author employs theoretical tools proposed by Bruno Latour, Gilles Deleuze, and Félix Guattari.

Key words: Anthropocene, sound archives, technology, media, knowledge



Bińczyk, Ewa. Epoka człowieka. Retoryka i marazm antropocenu. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, 2018.

Deleuze, Gilles, Félix Guattari. Tysiąc plateau. Red. językowa Joanna Bednarek. Warszawa: Fundacja Bęc Zmiana, 2015.

Helmreich, Stefan. Sounding the Limits of Life: Essays in the Anthropology of Biology and Beyond. Princeton–Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2016.

Krause, Bernie. Voices of the Wild. Animal Songs, Human Din, and the Call to Save Natural Soundscapes. New Haven–London: Yale University Press, 2015.

Krause, Bernie. Wild Soundscapes. Discovering the Voice of the Natural World. New Haven–London: Yale University Press, 2002.

Latour, Bruno. „Krążąca referencja. Próbkowanie gleby w Puszczy Amazońskiej”. W: Nadzieja Pandory: eseje o rzeczywistości w studiach nad nauką. Tłum. Krzysztof Abriszewski. Toruń: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UMK, 2013.

López, Francisco. „Słuchanie dogłębne i otaczająca nas materia dźwiękowa”. Tłum. Julian Kutyła. W: Kultura dźwięku. Teksty o muzyce nowoczesnej, red. Christoph Cox, Daniel Warner. Gdańsk: Słowo/obraz terytoria, 2010.

Murphy, Timothy S., Daniel W. Smith. „What I hear is thinking too: Deleuze and Guattari go pop”. ECHO: A Music Centered Journal 3, 1 (2001).

Tańczuk, Renata. „Usłyszeć antropocen. O dźwiękowych reprezentacjach zmiany klimatu”. Prace Kulturoznawcze 22, 1–2 (2018).

Tuszyńska, Justyna. „Dźwięki natury a sztuka dźwięku. O rozumieniu reprezentacji w fonografii”. Teksty Drugie 5 (2015).

The concept of heritage can currently apply to both cultural products and the natural environment. Nevertheless, in heritage studies relatively little space is devoted to natural heritage, whereby heritage is almost exclusively identified as cultural heritage. As a result, the philosophy of heritage is essentially a philosophy of cultural heritage. This article seeks to identify two contemporary approaches to natural heritage and its protection. One is founded on the culture–nature dichotomy and calls for the protection of natural heritage by separating it from society. The second arises from the belief in moving beyond this dichotomy and considering natural heritage as an object of human activity that should be protected through sustainable development. Both approaches are reconstructed on the basis of selected theoretical writings and documents pertaining to environmental protection. They are also confronted with the idea of the aesthetic experience of nature – after all, aesthetic properties are included among the most important values of natural heritage.

Key words: heritage, aesthetics, culture, nature, sustainable development



Carlson, Allen. Nature and Landscape. An Introduction to Environmental Aesthetics. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

Harrison, Rodney. „Beyond «natural» and «cultural» heritage: Toward an ontological politics of heritage in the age of Anthropocene”. Heritage and Society 8, 1 (2015).

Harrison, Rodney. „Dialogical heritage and sustainability”. W: Rodney Harrison. Heritage. Critical Approaches. London: Routledge, 2013.

Holtorf, Cornelius. „Averting loss aversion in cultural heritage”. International Journal of Heritage Studies 25, 4 (2014).

Howard, Peter, Ian Thomson, Emma Waterton, red., The Routledge Companion to Landscape Studies. London: Routledge, 2020.

Kowalski, Krzysztof. O istocie dziedzictwa europejskiego – rozważania. Kraków: Międzynarodowe Centrum Kultury, 2013.

Lowenthal, David. „Natural and cultural heritage”. International Journal of Heritage Studies 11, 1 (2005).

Matthes, Erich H. „Environmental heritage and the ruins of the future”. W: Philosophical Perspectives on Ruins, Monuments, and Memorials, red. Jeanette Bicknell, Jennifer Judkins, Carolyn Korsmeyer. London: Routledge, 2019.

Tomaszewski, Andrzej. Ku nowej filozofii dziedzictwa. Wybór i oprac. Ewa Święcka. Kraków: Międzynarodowe Centrum Kultury, 2012.

Museums – archives – collections

This paper analyses the work of authors associated with Awangarda Krakowska (in Polish: ‘Vanguard of Kraków’), discussing it in terms of contemporary discussions on the Anthropocene. The activity of this most radical formation in Polish modern literature coincided with the pinnacle of industrial progress. The members of the movement were staunch supporters of the latter which they tended to describe in terms of fossil fuels industry and the taming or transformation of natural environment. Adopting Peiper’s formula of three ‘M’s’ (Megalopolis, Mass, Machine), their attitude to nature is here discussed through three ‘E’s’: Enthusiasm, Exploitation, and Ecology. The former two were prevalent concepts in the interwar period and were derived from the philosophical discourse of modernity, gaining further focus in the avant-garde aesthetics and its slogans of human rivalry with nature. The resulting texts presented the intense process of transforming reality as an epic of forging a new order and introducing creative orderly patterns into the chaotic world of nature. This perspective tends to gradually disappear in the post-war texts, as the members of the avant-garde movement realised the negative consequences of the processes they once praised. Their texts reveal symptoms of ecological awareness and first suggestions that human attitude towards nature should be redefined.

Key words: interwar literature, Awangarda Krakowska (Vanguard of Kraków), Anthropocene, modernity, ecology



Bińczyk, Ewa. Epoka człowieka. Retoryka i marazm antropocenu. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, 2018.

Bonneuil, Christophe, Jean-Baptiste Fressoz. The Shock of the Anthropocene. The Earth, History and Us. Tłum. David Fernbach. New York: Verso, 2016.

Braun, Mieczysław. Przemysły. Warszawa: F. Hoesick, 1928.

Chakrabarty, Dipesh. „Humanistyka w czasach antropocenu. Kryzys mitycznej Kantowskiej opowieści”. Tłum. Krzysztof Dix. Prace Kulturoznawcze 22, 1–2 (2018).

Domke, Radosław. „Ekologia i ochrona środowiska w Polskiej Rzeczpospolitej Ludowej”. Humanities and Social Sciences 23, 3 (2018).

Fressoz, Jean-Baptiste. L’apocalypse joyeuse. Une histoire du risqué technologique. Paris: Éditions de Seuil, 2012.

Jaworski, Stanisław. U podstaw awangardy. Tadeusz Peiper, pisarz i teoretyk. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1980.

Kurek, Jalu. Zamurowana rzeka. Lwów: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Książek Szkolnych, 1939.

Macnaghten, Phil, John Urry. Alternatywne przyrody. Nowe myślenie o przyrodzie i społeczeństwie. Tłum. Bogdan Baran. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe „Scholar”, 2005.

Moore, Jason W. „The rise of cheap nature”. W: Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History and the Crisis of Capitalism, red. James W. Moore. Oakland: PM Press, 2016.

Peiper, Tadeusz. O wszystkim i jeszcze o czymś. Artykuły, eseje, wywiady (1918–1939). Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1974.

Przyboś, Julian. Sens poetycki. T. 2. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1967.

Turowski, Andrzej. Budowniczowie świata. Z dziejów radykalnego modernizmu w sztuce polskiej. Kraków: Universitas, 2000.

This article is an attempt to develop a post-humanist model of collecting that will be relevant to the emerging project of archiving the Anthropocene. To reflect on the potential of weak collections in this respect, a case study of Pablo Neruda’s collection of seashells is used. Started in 1939, it continued growing for the next 15 years. Neruda’s collection was unique. Rather than follow strict rules it expanded spontaneously and without a plan. It was never properly stored or studied; however, (or perhaps because of that) it was a perfect example of a practice of collecting that was neither focused on fetishising the objects nor on capitalising on them. The collection has a strong human subject – descending, making room for other weak and minor subjects to be heard and appreciated. Neruda’s collection, or as we may call it, an open assembly of eco-facts invites non-human subjects – such as seashells – to speak up about our common history and share their own narratives. Perhaps a weak collection is the way in which our epoch, the Anthropocene, can and should be commemorated.

Key words: Pablo Neruda, seashells, collection, Anthropocene, weak collection



Austin, Kelly. „I have put all I possess at the disposal of the people’s struggle”. W: Collecting from The Margins. Material Culture in a Latin American Context, red. María M. Andrade. Maryland: Bucknell University Press, 2016.

Braidotti, Rosi. Podmioty nomadyczne. Ucieleśnienie i różnica seksualna w feminizmie współczesnym. Tłum. Aleksandra Derra. Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Akademickie i Profesjonalne, 2009.

Chavez, Leilani. „A Philippine community that once ate giant clams now works to protect them”. Mongabay, 31 lipca 2019.

Contreras, Sara, Michel Étienne. „Neruda, poète ou malacologue”. Techniques and Culture 59 (2012).

Dannemann, Manuel. „The universe of Pablo Neruda’s seashells”. W: Las Caracolas de Pablo Neruda. Pablo Neruda’s Seashells, red. Cecilia Osorio, Manuel Dannemann. Santiago: Editorial Universitaria, Universidad de Chile, 2006.

Deleuze, Gilles. „Whitman”. W: Gilles Deleuze. Krytyka i klinika. Tłum. Bogdan Banasiak, Paweł Pieniążek. Łódź: Wydawnictwo Officyna, 2016.

Dworczyk, Krzysztof, Wojciech Dworczyk. Klejnoty morza. Ciekawostki o muszlach i kolekcjonerach. Warszawa: Agencja Wydawnicza Egros, 1996

„Entrevista del poeta Pablo Neruda con Rita Guibert (1971)”. Rebelión, 13 lipca 2004.

Frydryczak, Beata. Świat jako kolekcja. Próba analizy estetycznej natury nowoczesności. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Fundacji Humaniora, 2002.

Marzec, Andrzej. „Nie-ludzkie widma – archiwum, pamięć oraz przetrwanie w epoce antropocenu”. Czas Kultury 205, 2 (2020).

Neruda, Pablo. Dwadzieścia wierszy miłosnych i jedna pieśń rozpaczy. Red. Marian Polak-Chlabicz. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012.

Neruda, Pablo. Elegia. Tłum. Jack Hirschman. San Francisco: David Books, 1983.

Neruda, Pablo. Pieśń powszechna. Tłum. Konstanty I. Gałczyński, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Lech Pijanowski, Janusz Strasburger. Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1954.

Neruda, Pablo. Wyznaję, że żyłem. Wspomnienia. Tłum. Zofia Szleyen. Warszawa: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1976.

Osorio, Cecilia. „A surprising and interesting seashell collection assembled by a great poet”. W: Las Caracolas de Pablo Neruda. Pablo Neruda’s Seashells, red. Cecilia Osorio, Manuel Dannemann. Santiago: Editorial Universitaria, Universidad de Chile, 2006.

Osorio, Cecilia, Manuel Dannemann, red., Las Caracolas de Pablo Neruda. Pablo Neruda’s Seashells. Santiago: Editorial Universitaria, Universidad de Chile, 2006.

Pablo Neruda. Britannica.

Rivadeneira Valenzuela, Marcelo. Catálogo de la Colección de Caracolas de Pablo Neruda depositada en el Archivo Central Andrés Bello. Santiago: Universidad de Chile, 2010.

Tańczuk, Renata. Ars colligendi. Kolekcjonowanie jako forma aktywności kulturalnej. Wrocław: Wydawnictwo UWr, 2001.

Vattimo, Gianni. „Dialektyka, różnica, myśl słaba”. Tłum. Monika Surma-Gawłowska, Andrzej Zawadzki. W: Myśl mocna, myśl słaba. Hermeneutyka włoska od połowy XX wieku. Antologia tekstów. Wybór i oprac. Monika Surma-Gawłowska, Andrzej Zawadzki. Kraków: Księgarnia Akademicka, 2015.

Welsch, Wolfgang. Nasza postmodernistyczna moderna. Tłum. Roman Kubicki, Anna Zeidler-Janiszewska. Warszawa: Oficyna Naukowa, 1998.

Culture researchers have recently highlighted the link between the combustion of petroleum products and individual freedom, one of the premises of Western world. This observation has contributed to the emergence of two research areas, petroculture and (more broadly) energy humanities. They study how a given energy regime can influence the forms of culture, the origin and development of species, and the philosophical approach to an individual in the world. One of modern history mechanisms has been identified as petromelancholia, a nostalgia for the times of easy access to cheap crude oil. These ideas offer a starting point for an analysis of the exhibition at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. While tapping into individual freedom and technological nostalgia in the narrative layer, the exhibition does not feature petrol as a substance. Instead it is communicated only as a technological and media content: fuel tanks painted in bright colours, a gallery of engines, conventionalised diagrams. The dependence of individual freedom on access to petrol can be seen in Josh Kurpius’s photographs of American motorcycle nomads. It is a shift towards the past inspired by Harley-Davidson’s marketing strategy; however, it also reveals the compensatory role of nostalgia in the face of climate catastrophe.

Key words: petroculture, petromelancholia, motorcycles, Harley-Davidson, Anthropocene



Clark, Nigel, Kathryn Yusoff. „Combustion and society: a fire-centred history of energy use”. Theory, Culture and Society 31, 5 (2014).

DeLyser, Dydia, Paul Greenstein. „The devotions of restoration: materiality, enthusiasm, and making three ‘Indian Motocycles’ like new”. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 107, 6 (2017).

Gordon, Jon. Unsustainable Oil: Facts, Counterfacts, and Fictions. Edmonton: The University of Alberta Press, 2015.

Jones, Gareth W. Energy, the Great Driver: Seven Revolutions and the Challenges of Climate Change. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2019.

Jørgensen, Finn A. Dolly Jørgensen. „The Anthropocene as a history of technology: Welcome to the Anthropocene: The Earth in Our Hands, Deutsches Museum, Munich”. Technology and Culture 57, 1 (2016).

LeMenager, Stephanie. Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

McNeill, John R. The Great Acceleration: An Environmental History of the Anthropocene Since 1945. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2014.

Szeman, Imre. „Conjectures on world energy literature: or, what is petroculture?”. Journal of Postcolonial Writing 53, 3 (2017).

Szeman, Imre. „How to know about oil: energy epistemologies and political futures”. Journal of Canadian Studies 47, 3 (2013).

Urry, John. „The problem of energy”. Theory, Culture and Society 31, 5 (2014).

Vaughan, Hunter. Hollywood’s Dirtiest Secret: The Hidden Environmental Costs of the Movies. New York: Columbia University Press, 2019.

Welling, Bart H. „Beyond doom and gloom in petroaesthetics: facing oil, making energy matter”. Media Tropes 7, 2 (2020).

Wells, Christopher W. Car Country: An Environmental History. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2012.

Wodak, Josh. „The arts of energy: between hoping for the stars and despairing in the detritus”. Humanities 5, 38 (2016).

Referring to the ‘aquatic imagination’ of artist Jason deCaires Taylor, this article analyses underwater museums – artistic installations that are gaining more and more popularity as unusual tourist attractions. Sinking art seems to be a process somewhat opposite to the mainstream in museology, i.e. searching for works of art and other artefacts and retrieving them from the bottom of the sea or the ocean where they ended up due to a disaster (e.g. wrecks of various types, ancient art), and placing them in the space of traditional museums. Adopting the perspective of cultural studies and taking into account the intertwining of perceptual, symbolic and conceptual aspects of understanding water allowed us to broaden the area of reflection and analyse the phenomenon of underwater museums not only as an alternative exhibition space for contemporary sculptures or a new type of alternative tourism, but also as a particular cultural phenomenon. The primary aim of the article is to consider Taylor’s sculptures as cultural artefacts that point to a continuous multi-directional relationship between humans and creatures living in the ocean’s depths – particularly in the context of the Anthropocene as well as many other cultural contexts.

Key words: underwater museums, Jason deCaires Taylor, aquatic imagination, natureculture



Bińczyk, Ewa. Epoka człowieka. Retoryka i marazm antropocenu. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, 2018.

Burkiewicz, Łukasz, Piotr Duchliński, Jarosław Kucharski, red., Oblicza wody w kulturze. Kraków: Akademia Ignatianum, Wydawnictwo WAM, 2014.

Górnicki, Zdzisław. Woda w duchowych przeżyciach człowieka. Kraków: Wydawnictwo M, 2008.

Klein, Lidia. Żywe architektury. Analogia biologiczna w architekturze końca XX wieku. Warszawa: Fundacja Kultura Miejsca, 2014.

Łapiński, Jacek. „Woda – paradygmat cywilizacji, kultury i krajobrazu”. W: Woda w przestrzeni przyrodniczej i kulturowej, red. Urszula Myga-Piątek. Prace Komisji Krajobrazu Kulturowego, t. II. Sosnowiec: Komisja Krajobrazu Kulturowego PTG, 2003.

Malec, Iwona M. „Giuseppe Arcimboldo: maniera «widziana jako»”. Estetyka i Krytyka 17–18 (2008–2009).

Mazzoleni, Ilaria. Architecture Follows Nature. Biomimetic Principles for Innovative Design. London, New York: CRC Press, 2013.

McCall, Vikki, Clive Gray. „Museums and the ‘new museology’: theory, practice and organisational change”. Museum Management and Curatorship 29, 1 (2014).

Nieszczerzewska, Małgorzata. Ruinologie. Kontekstualizacje pozostałości architektury. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe WNS, 2018.

Pawlikowska-Asendrych, Elżbieta, red., Żywioły w poznaniu. T. 1: Metodologie badań z perspektywy językoznawczej i literaturoznawczej. Częstochowa: Wydawnictwo AJD, 2017.

Ross, Max. „Interpreting the new museology”. Museum and Society 2, 2 (2004).

Simon, Nina. The Art of Relevance. Santa Cruz CA: Museum 2.0, 2016.

Simon, Nina. The Participatory Museum. Santa Cruz CA: Museum 2.0, 2010.

Son, Boyoung, Lidia Borisova, Sarianna Niskala, Xuan Ma, Gero Klingler, Krista Kärki, Jinkyu Choi. Designing the future museums: National Museum of Finland. Aalto University publication series Crossover 2 (2018).

Stobiecka, Monika. „Witalność ruin w dobie antropocenu”. Przegląd Kulturoznawczy 42, 2 (2019).

Triebskorn, Rita, Jürgen Wertheimer, red., Wasser als Quelle des Lebens. Eine multidisziplinäre Annäherung. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 2016.

Wilkoszewska, Krystyna, red., Estetyka czterech żywiołów. Kraków: Universitas, 2002.

This article discusses the most characteristic strategies employed by the Dutch artist Herman de Vries in his mature works. Starting with his pavilion design for the 2015 Venice Biennale, the text presents step by step how the artist has managed to combine his artistic activity with his passion as a nature explorer. It also outlines his journey from his early works (inspired for example by informalism) to the contemporary ones that draw on the aesthetics of the natural environment. It shows his evolution from an interest in pure geometric forms to a fascination with the forms of nature, perhaps most evident in de Vries’ spectacular collection of geological and biological objects also present in most of his compositions. The author studies the artist’s archive through the context of the Anthropocene museum, offering its critical analysis and highlighting its different function both in art and modern science.

Key words: herman de vries, nature, art, collection, archive



Flam, Jack, red., Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

Foucault, Michel. „Inne przestrzenie”. Tłum. Agnieszka Rejniak-Majewska. Teksty Drugie 6 (2005).

Gooding, Mel. herman de vries: chance and change. London: Thames and Hudson, 2006.

Grande, John K. Art Nature Dialogues: Interviews with Environmental Artists. New York: State University of New York Press, 2004.

Huizing, Colin, Tijs Visser, Antoon Melissen, red., Nul = 0. The Dutch Nul Group in an International Context. Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, 2011.

Martin, Jean-Hubert, Herman de Vries, Cees de Boer, Colin Huizing, Birgit Donker. Herman de Vries: To be All Ways to be: La Biennale di Venezia 2015. Amsterdam: Valiz/Mondriaan Fund, 2015.

Pola, Francesca, red., herman de vries: The Return of Beauty. Milano: Mousse Publishing, 2017.

Vries de, Herman, Lisette Pelsers, Co Seegers. Random objectivation 1970–1975. herman de vries. Otterlo: Kröller-Müller Museum, 2015.


Latour, Bruno, Steve Woolgar. Życie laboratoryjne. Konstruowanie faktów naukowych [Laboratory Life. The Construction of Scientific Facts]. Red. nauk. Krzysztof Abriszewski, Rafał Wiśniewski. Tłum. Krzysztof Abriszewski, Paweł Gąska, Maciej Smoczyński, Adrian Zabielski. Warszawa: Narodowe Centrum Kultury, 2020.

Key words: Bruno Latour, Steve Woolgar, the construction of scientific facts, laboratory, anthropology of science