Cartographies of the Vanishing Now

New Narratives For Earth



Cartographies of the Vanishing Now (COTVN) is a new research and development project exploring the potential of sensory art and alternative cartographic methods to remap reality in the age of environmental collapse. It sets out to capture the impact of the growing ecological instability on the way we organise and model our modern world, traces the forces behind environmental change and simultaneous shifts perspectives to move to brighter futures.

We invite media artists, designers, performers and musicians to collaborate with scientists, botanical experts, anthropologists, activists, bots and spirits to join the COTVN community and a series of activities which will research the topic of instability and imagine symbiotic relationships between man, technology and ecology. This will be done by developing immersive experiences and hybrid instruments through critical research and audiovisual exploration.

Marcia Bjornerud, Timefulness


“We think that our technologies exempt us from the constraints of natural history that for so long defined the human experience. But stranded on the island of Now, we are lonely.”



  • #3 Engraved Landscapes: In Conversation With Vanessa Opoku
    #1 Tracing Materials, Rethinking Relations – In Conversation With Michaela Büsse
    #2 After The Shock – In Conversation With Ruben Jacobs
    #5 Intimate mapping – In conversation with Jonathon Reus & Sissel Marie Tonn
    #4 Future Narratives – In Conversation With Mark IJzerman

LAB #1

The first instance of Cartographies of the Vanishing Now is the five day laboratorium happening in Amsterdam in the week of September 9 to 13, 2019. A selection of makers and thinkers will set out to research and define a wide variety of subjects, experiment with environmental data, create concepts and prototypes for new works and collaboratively shape the future pathway of the project under the guidance of lab mentors and visiting guests. The lab will consist of lectures, masterclasses, micro-workshops and a field trip.

An international open call for participation was launched July 3, 2019. The call closes at Monday July 22 (midnight). The Open Call is extended until Sunday 4 August (midnight).


Vanessa Opoku 
Michaela Büsse 
Kayla McClellan
Darien Brito
Mint Park 
Jonathan Reus 
Vinny Jones
Giovanni Muzio
Jo Kroese 
Guus Snaterse
Arita Baaijens 
Fiona Glen 
Rosalie Bak
Karen Rosenkranz 
Wael El Allouche 
Avery Shoemaker 
Sacha van den haak
Mina Kim 
Winke Wiegersma 
Milton Almonacid

Public Talks: Friday 13/9

On Friday 13 September we invite you to an evening about new stories, maps and sensory experiences that capture the ongoing ecological crisis through other perspectives. How can we relate to the reality of climate change in other ways – visual and embodied – so that we can relate to its complexity, origin and impact? What role can sensory art, design, mapping and performative actions play in addressing this question?

This evening is the closing event of the first Cartographies of the Vanishing Now Lab (COTVN). We welcome the audience to see the results and talk to the participants, mentors and guest speakers. To get the evening off to a good start, there will be talks by designers/researchers Xandra van der Eijk (introduction to COTVN), Irene Stracuzzi and scholar/writer Jeff Diamanti.


Friday September 13 at Waag (Nieuwmarkt 4)
Time: 20:00 – 23:00 | Doors: 19:45 | Start 20:00 sharp!
Talks: € 6 | Tickets: | Free Lab Acces: 21:30 – 23:00




Xandra van der Eijk is is a Dutch artist and designer connecting art, ecology, and activism. She has developed a distinct research methodology. Incorporating theory, fieldwork, documentation methods and material development in her practice, she re-interprets the landscape from an anti-anthropocentric view. Each of her projects deals with a key ecological issue, and how it is exposed by the passing of time. Van der Eijk is a core tutor at the Masters Institute of Visual Cultures leading the new research pathway Ecology Futures.

Irene Stracuzzi is a graphic designer and researcher based in the Netherlands. She has a specialisation in the field of printed matter and information design. Her self-initiated projects revolve around cartography, geopolitics and science, involving design as a critical tool to share knowledge. Her graduation work The Legal Status of Ice received international attention. It explores the overlapping border claims in the Artic by means of a projection, and compares these with geographic data of fluctuations in sea ice, oil and gas reserves, navigational routes and the geological formations of the seabed.

Jeff Diamanti is a scholar, writer and is teaching Literary and Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam. His work tracks the political and media ecology of fossil fuels. He co-convened the international colloquium on Climate Realism. He explores emergent practices in the humanities and social sciences that help refigure disciplinary boundaries amidst social and environmental precarity. He is working on a book called Terminal Landscapes: Climate, Energy Culture and the Infrastructures of Postindustrial Capital.

Team, Mentors and Guests

Full Programme

  • Xandra van der Eijk
    Initiator | Mentor. She is a Dutch artist and designer connecting art, ecology, and activism. Incorporating theory, fieldwork, documentation methods and material development in her practice, she re-interprets the landscape from an anti-anthropocentric view.
    Mark IJzerman
    Initiator | Mentor. He is a Dutch media artist and designer making installations and audiovisual performances. In his work he explores interaction between sound, light and the physiological effect on the body.
    Jarl Schulp
    Initiator | Mentor. Jarl is the co-founder and artistic director of FIBER. Next to FIBER, Jarl is active as a curator and researcher at the intersection of audiovisual art, tools, sound and complex systems (technological, ecological and cultural).
    Michelle Geraerts
    Researcher. She is a cultural anthropologist who recently graduated from Utrecht University's MSc track Sustainable Citizenship with her prize-winning thesis Speculative New Ecologies. Committed to qualitative and artistic research, she holds an engaged and activist stance.
    António Cartaxo
    Researcher with a background in classical music and artistic research, António's interests follow the presence of sound in the everyday. How do we relate to and make sense of our surroundings, through sound? In what ways is the nature vs culture divide present in sense-making processes through sound?
    Rhian Morris
    Project Support & Research. She is a scenographer creating sensory immersive experiences, questioning the boundaries of our human perception. Rhian is a member of collective Gaia's Machine, who research the intersection between the human body, nature and technology.
    Shailoh Phillips
    is a speaker and media artist. Her collaborative practice revolves around fostering forms of resistance and pressure points to act in the face of social inequalities and impending ecological disasters.
    Milton Almonacid
    is a speaker and Professor of History and Geography at the Universidad de la Frontera, Temuco, Chile. He has more than 12 years of international experience in matters related to cultural, intercultural and global studies.
    Ruben Jacobs
    is a speaker and sociologist & writer. His new book 'Artonauten. Op expeditie in het Antropoceen' (V2_Publishing, Rotterdam) is about how artists use science and technology to re-examine our relationship with the earth
    Michaela Büsser
    is a speaker and design researcher, editor & curator. Currently, Michaela is a PhD candidate at the Critical Media Lab in Basel where she analyses design through the lens of human-material entanglements.
    Mirla Klijn
    is a speaker and an independent documentary and filmmaker for amongst others Dutch national broadcaster VPRO and international media company VICE. Her and Olaf Boswijk are co-founder of Valley of the Possible, Refugio for Art & Research in the Chilean Andes.
    Irene Stracuzzi
    is a speaker and graphic designer & researcher. Her self-initiated projects revolve around cartography, geopolitics and science, involving design as a critical tool to share knowledge. She tutors MA Information Design at Design Academy Eindhoven.
  • Miha Turšič
    is a speaker and project developer at Waag. Miha is a co-founder of the Cultural Center of European Space Technologies and specializes in outside-the-box solutions. He develops projects for both our Open Design and Open Wetlab.
    Edwin Keizer
    is a speaker and research coordinator at Greenpeace. He coordinates and implements multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural projects on forest, land and water conservation issues applying GIS and Remote Sensing.
    Tivon Rice
    is a speaker and session leader. He is an artist and educator working at the intersections of visual studies and technology. Based in Seattle (US) and Den Haag (NL), his work critically explores representation and communication in the context of digital culture.
    Jonathan Reus
    is a session leader and experimental composer exploring new ways of music making through technological/critical practices. Jonathan is a co-founder of the Instrument Inventors Initiative and of the Platform for Thought in Motion in the Hague.
    Sissel Marie Tonn
    is a speaker and artist exploring the complex ways humans perceive, act upon and are entangled with our environments. Her and Jonathon Reus founded the artistic research platform 'Sensory Cartographies'.
    Jeff Diamanti
    is a speaker and a scholar, writer and teacher of Literary and Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam. His work tracks the political and media ecology of fossil fuels. He co-convened the international colloquium on Climate Realism and has been a core member of various site-specific workshops.
    Olaf Boswijk
    is a speaker and owner/founder of TrouwAmsterdam, De School, and creative director of 11, three of the most well known and revered clubs for electronic music and contemporary art in The Netherlands in recent years. At the heart of his work lies community building and creating alternative platforms for arts and culture.


Call For Papers & Researchers

FIBER X Simulacrum: Practising Exposure

FIBER and Simulacrum Magazine invite emerging writers, researchers and visual artists to send in a draft proposal for a Call For Papers. With the theme Practising Exposure, both organisations are investigating the possiblities to rethink the self as radically exposed to our environment. Simulacrum serves as an accessible and qualitative publication platform for students and experts.

The deadline for the first version of the contribution is September 30th, 2019. More infomation here:


Practising Exposure: In her book Exposed (2016), Environmental Humanities scholar Stacy Alaimo argues that the Anthropocene is no time for definitive mappings and confident epistemologies. Practicing exposure, Alaimo writes, starts from a rebellious kind of vulnerability that seeks material rather than abstract alliances. Might practicing exposure then be a way to counter the seeming ineluctability of catastrophic climate change?

Within the project, FIBER will offer a number of research positions to student researchers to reflect and write on the lab and the results.
Contact us:

Why this project?

1 or 2 degrees of global warming. We increasingly hear about it in the news. The urgency of climate change has finally entered the mainstream. In spite of drastic ecological signs, irrefutable scientific evidence and the proliferation of widespread climate strikes, climate change remains an abstract concept to many that is mostly broadcasted through the media. For many of us it feels too big to handle. And yet, we as human beings stand at the threshold of a new earthly age; a world of extreme instability in which the continued existence of humanity, animals and other organisms is by no means guaranteed. The sixth mass extinction is upon us.

We are rocketing through the Anthropocene, an era in which humanity became a geological force, towards what is increasingly being referred to as the Post-Anthropocene; an earthly age in which humanity is no longer the dominant force at the centre of the world. The Western ways of extractive and technological being and acting do grave damage to our world. Destabilising earth systems and eradicating life on a planetary scale, including humankind.

With Cartographies of the Vanishing Now, FIBER and its partners set out to calibrate our vision of reality to the actual reality of the earth. What experiences could support the cognitive shift to create new symbiotic relationships and more-than human futures? Can we use multi-sensory composition as a metaphor for new ways of thinking? Is it possible to unify our technological thinking with ecological thinking to create inclusive narratives and radical innovation to navigate towards new worlds?


Cartographies of the Vanishing Now is an initiative by FIBER in collaboration with Xandra van der Eijk and Mark Ijzerman.

Project partners and collaborators are: Miha Turšič (Waag), Tivon Rice, Michelle Geraerts, Valley of the Possible, Tellart (Bjørn Karmann & Sabrina Verhagen), MA Research Ecology Futures AKV | st.Joost, Simulacrum Magazine.

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