Engaging the Anthropocene

Crys Moore

Engaging the Anthropocene is a series of aesthetic provocations designed to re-imagine adaptation in an age of uncertainty. My desire is that by engaging with these experiments, we will begin to imagine life in the Anthropocene, a new geologic era.

The ‘Age of Man’ is characterized not only by the effect humans have on the world as a geological force, but also by our activities as a threat to our own survival. Much of the work being done to cope with our changing environment not only creates more uncertainty but also relies on technologies unavailable to ordinary citizens. Engaging the Anthropocene is a collection of experiments designed to help individuals and communities adapt along with changing earth systems. Each experiment is based on DIY technology research and moves into the realm of science fiction. Initial investigations include a kite made from air filters and an algae-CO2 scrubbing backpack. These projects represent an initial inquiry into a larger body of work.

--Johann Rockstrom - Safe Operating Space for Humanity

-Bruno Latour - Love Your Monster's

-Friends of the Pleistocene - Making the Geologic Now

-Jan Zalasiewicz - The Earth After Us

-W.L Steffen - Global change and the earth system a planet under pressure

-Springer - Global Change and the Earth System


-Podcast from Stanford: Generation Anthropocene

-Artists: CLUI, Smudge Studio, Liam Young, Dunne and Raby, William Lamson, Natalie Jeremijenko

-various papers:

Indoor Carbon Dioxide Filter By SKH BISHOP MOK SAU TSENG

Carbon Dioxide Capture from the Air Using a Polyamine Based Regenerable Solid Adsorbent - Journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS Publications)

Carbon Dioxide Capture from the Air Using a Polyamine Based Regenerable Solid Adsorben






-various websites:



general public, gallery goers


I started with concept sketches in Illustrator. From there I broke down system components into pieces and began trouble shooting from there. I also, for each project, took a general look of the overall, long arc of the project. For example, for the algae rebreather, I knew I needed live algae growing by fabrication and documentation time. I ordered the algae early, set up a grow system, and had the algae growing during my fabrication process. Some things I learned: For the box kite, I knew it would be a challenge getting air filters to fly, but I had underestimated how much of a challenge. I started the designing the kite as a finished product, aka the most complex, and paired down until I got the most basic element to work. I learned that its better to start simple first, getting the basic mechanics down, and build up the form and design elements after. The takeaway in the process is to prototype early, like get a prototype working in a day, and learn from the mistakes and build on the successes from there.


Box Kite: I used home air filters found at home depot as well as hot glue, twine, dowels, and duct tape. I also used the Laser cutter to cut the filters. I learned lashing techniques to keep the dowels together for the least amount of weight. I also spent some making my own air filters based upon research. ReBreather: I used an arduino, microSd sheild, and a chronodot RTC along with a powerswitch tail to set up a light cycle for the algae on circadian cycles. I followed basic sterile lab procedures for working with the algae. I used tubing supplies from the pet store (aquariums) as well as home depot. I became very familiar with tube connectors. I used the lathe to machine the holder for the reBreather as well as other general shop tools. I also took a class at Genespace on working with bioflourescent algae.

It's best to prototype from the simplest to the most complex. This seems obvious, but a lesson learned nonetheless. Also, making things fly is more difficult than I imagined. It really is best to enlist the help from experts from the beginning. Remain flexible. While working but also conceptually. You will inevitably run across something crucial at the last moment and wish you would have seen it from day one. It should be a law, like Murphy's law.