I Love Extremophiles @ StoreFrontLab, San Francisco
In the future, the Ego becomes the Eco, as our cultural and survival practices become fused with biology and technology. We look to the strategies of ancient life as a method of adaptation to the Anthropocene Epoch.
Extremophiles are nature's original metabolic organisms, flourishing in extreme conditions, utilizing unusual sources of energy including ammonia, metal ions, petrochemicals, and hydrogen gas. Extremophiles are currently being domesticated for resource extraction by the mining and gas industries. Meanwhile, within the urban environment, they remain feral and unstudied, colonizing post-industrial and contaminated sites, slowly but surely metabolizing petrochemicals and other introduced toxins.
Understood as such, extremophile microorganisms can be seen as stewards and change-agents within the industrial landscape; as well as a model for considering hyper-adaptability and site-specificity as compatible design tools within an ecologically destabilized future.
How does one thrive in a wasteland?
The Summit on Invisible Urbanism took place in October 25, 2014 at StoreFrontLab gallery in San Francisco, as a part of GRNASFCK's solo exhibition I Love Extremophiles! . Participants included David Fletcher, landscape architect and principal of Fletcher Studio; Andrew Cal, molecular geneticist; Nicholas Korody, artist and theorist; Geneva Travis, resource management consultant; and Murphy Stein, futurist and robotics developer at Google. For an afternoon, this cross-disciplinary panel discussed and debated contaminated sites, microorganisms, and the place for humanity in a post-human epoch.
Endlesss thanks to the StoreFrontLab curatorial team: Yosh Asato, David Baker, Arianne Gelardin, and Jacob Palmer.