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(C) 2019, Cover & book design: Matilde Igual Capdevilla, C.A.T. illustration: Rosie Benn.

C.A.T.: Catastrophic Animals on Terra

A guidebook to life elsewhere

About the book:
From 2016–19 students of the Art&Science master course have been working on the implications of a contemporary academic discourse that aims at reframing our understanding of ‘nature’ through the annual topic ‘In the Woods – In the Wild’. Artistic imaginations concerning nature become markedly influenced by new insights of various scientific disciplines. In order to narrow down this rather broad topic, the research focused on the question of ‘what is a forest?’. Students were exposed to a multidisciplinary scientific discourse inspired by many new theoretical and practical silvicultural insights. These theoretical discussions regarding our relationship with nature were complemented by an experiential and experimental component where students could deepen their understanding on forests through practical on-site research. For this purpose, they stayed in the forests of Transcarpathia (Ukraine) for ten days in July 2017. Together with local stakeholders, visions and versions of what a forest ‘is’ were debated. In a second phase, the group returned to the Ukrainian forests in September 2018 to assemble its research findings, allies and questions around a plot of land in Nyzhnje Selyshche in search for a latent commons. The 48-hour happening, ‘The Landing is on Friday’, was an event of ‘speculative ecology’. It took place between trees and ruins and welcomed aliens that had emerged beyond our (knowledge)horizons. The guidebook produced results from the collective experience in speculative research.

Texts by: Brishty Alam, Guadalupe Aldrete, Golnaz Bashiri, Rosie Benn, Margit Busch, Valerie Deifel, Johanna Folkmann, Maximilian Gallo, Athanasios Gramosis, Matilde Igual Capdevila, Bernd Kräftner, Rafael Lippuner, Marko Marković, Frédérique Neuts, Marina Rebhandl

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Editors: Bernd Kräftner, Valerie Deifel, Brishty Alam
Book design: Matilde Igual Capdevila
C.A.T. illustrations: Rosie Benn
Photographs: Marina Rebhandl, Matilde Igual Capdevila
Copyediting: www.full-proof.co.uk
Printing and binding: La Imprenta Comunicación Gráfica
Publisher: University of Applied Arts Vienna, 2019

Project chair: Bernd Kräftner
In collaboration with: Brishty Alam, Valerie Deifel
Cooperation partners: Molotok (Khust rayon public organization), Bogdan Popov (Ecosololutions Forge), Rupert Seidl (University of Natural Resources & Life Sciences Vienna)

Acknowledgements:
Special thanks to everyone we met in Nyzhnje Selyshche and to our hosts: Tatiana Bielousova, Jürgen Kräftner and Bogdan Popov. Thanks to Virgil Widrich (Head, Art & Science), Gerda Fischbach (Office, Art & Science), Anja Seipenbusch-Hufschmied (Publications, Cooperations, Marketing) and Gerald Bast (Rector, University of Applied Arts Vienna) for their help and support. Thanks to all of our guests and collaborators: Myhajlo Bielousov, Franz Essl, Douglas Godbold, Franz Holzleitner, Alf Hornborg, Slava Koshan, Olha Kostrets, Stefan Lirsch, Oleksandr Lypchey, Viktoria Lypchey, Roland Maurmair, Molotok, Valeriy Pavlyuk, Bogdan Popov, Vasyl Rusaniuk, Klemens Schadauer, Silvio Schüler, Rupert Seidl, Victoria Shtets, Bogdan Stefanec, Chris Walzer, Anton Weissenhofer and Olha Zubyk.

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C.A.T.: Catastrophic Animals on Terra
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Date
June 25, 2019