Liquid Loss: Learning to Mourn Our Companion Species and Landscapes – by Teresa Dillon

This essay was published in Screen City Biennial Journal, October 2019

Terike Haapoja, Entropy (2004). Video still.

“The world tells a big story: living arrangements that took millions of years to put into place are being undone in the blink of an eye.”[1] 

In 2015, a team of biologists, zoologists and ecologists[2] published a paper that examined whether human activities are causing a mass extinction. Using “conservative assumptions”, they compared base rates of animal and species loss with previous extinction periods. Their analysis indicated that the current extinction rates of mammal and vertebrate species vastly exceed natural average background rates[3], their conclusion stating that the sixth extinction, the “biological annihilation” of species, was well on its way[4]. The opening quote, drawn from Tsing et al.’s edited collection ‘Arts of Living on A Damaged Planet’, refers to this death as the “undoing of living arrangements”, and while this ruin may not be even, or equally distributed, it does affect us all. For instance, pollinator communities critically impact agricultural systems, their decline disproportionately affecting the livelihood of subsistence farmers and local producers, whose goods sustain global food supplies[5]

Whether one chooses to consciously pay attention to such loss or not, what I would like to put forward in this short paper relates not just to the registration of this death as a statistic or number, but as a particular form of grief that is intuited at levels that go beyond the measurable and tangible. 

Grief and mourning are considered as ‘natural’, legitimate processes through which loss becomes graspable. If we are to make the assumption that all life on earth is interconnected, and the loss of species through extinction is ‘felt’ on a human level, then the question arises, how do we legitimise the sorrow that accompanies such passing, without further complicating or pathologising such grief? 

As homo sapiens we practise a myriad of funeral rituals that help us to come to terms with human kin death; we have developed complex post-death rituals, burial behaviours and remembrance symbols that can last generations. We have approaches, treatments and performances that dictate how we manage corpses that are governed and protected. We have developed theories on the impact of human bereavement, including models and coping mechanisms to recognise and guide us through it. If we are moving towards or returning to a more-than-human position, how then do we treat the loss of our fellow creatures with the same compassion? How do we begin to accept, cope with and understand the mourning that accompanies the loss of companion species and landscapes?

Situating Grief and Mourning

“So do I grieve for my lovely dogwoods, or not? Reducing uncertainty and disbelief is important in getting grief off to a good start. For that reason, many hospitals and religious groups stress seeing the body. In fact, this step is considered so important to coping with grief that it is built into certain hospitals’ sudden-death protocols. With the dogwoods, however, it is unclear whether I should look for bodies or cultivate hope. Even if I decided to grieve, how would I go about doing it?” [6]

The above quote is taken from the writing of environmentalist, hospital chaplain and grief counsellor Phyllis Windle. Situating her work within the field of ecopsychology, that is the study and practices associated with human emotional relation to the natural world,[7], Windle suggests that mourning for environmental losses has no simple or predictable path, as our external and internal worlds may make such losses difficult to mourn. Writing in 1995, Windle observes, “we have almost no social support for expressing this grief”[8]. Yet our understanding of human grief has a rich history, including theories of attachment and loss[9] that have been instrumental in understanding how one of our most primary human motivations is to seek, through our attachments to each other, a safe haven. Attachment, experienced in childhood as an embodied form of care and its associated loss, termination or closure, can leave life-long marks. When the ‘affectional bond’ is broken, grief is a natural response. 

Extending on and working with Bowlby, Colin Murray Parkes[10], whose research into bereavement provided some of the first empirical studies of grief, identified the four stages: shock and numbness—the immediate first stage, which allows one to survive the immediate loss; yearning and searching—the pining for the deceased’s return, during which many emotions, including weeping, anger, anxiety, preoccupation and confusion are expressed; despair and disorganisation—characterised by withdrawal, disengagement, depression, apathy and other low feelings, as the transition to living without a loved one has come to terms with; reorganisation and recovery—the return to the ‘normal’ state. While the loss is not forgotten, grief is now managed; positive memories and associations are preserved as new orderings emerge. Similarly, Kübler-Ross[11] refers to five stages of grief including denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Although criticised for its lack of clinical evidence,[12] his research continues to influence therapeutic intervention and has been foundational in raising awareness about the mourning process. Models of mourning additionally add to such analysis and include, for example, Worden’s Four Tasks[13]: Task 1) to accept the reality of the loss; Task 2) to work through the pain and grief; Task 3) to adjust to the new environment; and Task 4) to find an enduring connection to the deceased while moving forward with life. Likewise, Rando’s Six Processes, or Six Rs, acknowledge the necessity to:

  1. recognise the loss—that is acknowledge and understand the death;
  2. react to separation—experience the pain;
  3. recollect and re-experience—develop a realistic review of the relationship with the deceased;
  4. relinquish and re-experience;
  5. readjust—adapt to the new world, not forgetting the old; and
  6. reinvest—in new relationships. 

The point in naming these theories, models and stages is not to provide an extensive review or critique, but to illustrate that alongside deeply rooted rituals and customs we have well-established models of the significance that loss, grief and mourning have to a human life. Bonanno, who runs the Loss, Trauma and Emotion Lab at Columbia University, also extends the thinking in the field by focusing on natural resilience as a key factor in determining how people manage grief. While this cannot be taught, his lab looks towards ways in which it can be designed into programmes and highlights how other responses, such as laughter and humour, can also act as legitimate ways to mourn. Research has also emphasised that the grieving process also depends on a number of individual socio-emotional factors such as the mode of loss, personal vulnerability, personal character and social support[14].

In light of this research, and returning to Windle’s example of the loss of the flowering woody tree, the dogwood, while Windle recognises the loss, she also acknowledges there is no clear way to process it. As there are no accepted social norms this adds further to a sense of dislocation. Such grief could be described as disenfranchised grief[15], in that the anguish or sorrow cannot be openly acknowledged for reasons such as lack of social acceptance and appropriate social norms through which to process the grief, personal angst, fear of embarrassment, or appearing as foolish or weak. Such feelings in turn distort one’s reality, further complicating the mourning process and in the worst cases pathologising the loss. One field that has begun to recognise the ‘realness’ of the grief associated with non-human death is the veterinary sciences. Findings from this discipline and other disciplines dealing with this matter are explored in the following section. 

Understanding Companion Loss

Over the last two decades, within the fields of veterinary science and human environment studies, there has been a growing number of reports of the awareness of end-of-life care, grief and bereavement of “companion animals”[16]. Additionally, as development psychologist Gail Melson[17] notes, studies of children’s development have “largely… been limited to children’s relationships with other humans”[18], resulting in our relation to companion animals being largely ignored—and this can be extended to adult development and how we conceptualise the notion of affectional bonds in the first place. For clarity, “companion animal” typically refers to a domestic pet that we have a meaningful relationship with, but this can and does extend to animal relations in other contexts, such as farm, zoo and sanctuary settings. What is necessary to flag here is that the term “companion animal” (from now on referred to as companion/pet) tends to refer to domesticated or captivated species relationships. Intentionally here, and in relation to the conversation on extinction, similar to Haraway[19], the use of the term “companion species” within this paper refers to all creatures (domestic and wild), as well as companion landscapes (soil, rivers, lakes, mountains, seas) with which we share the earth. 

Returning to the research, the surge in pet animal relationships and their associated care is in line with increases in the global growth in pet ownership, with over half of people internationally having a least one pet[20]. As a result, it is now common for people to refer to their companion animals as a friend or member of the family, and therefore vets and animal support carers have begun to recognise the need to support people when their companion/pet animal dies. Chur-Hanson[21] notes that despite the rise in companion/pet numbers, much work has to be done in understanding the grief that accompanies their death. Writing from an Austrialian perspective, Chur-Hanson discuss how the cremation of pets is often procedural rather than ritual, and that animal crematorium staff are not necessarily trained in counselling or managing grief. Additionally, Chur-Hanson points out that there are no recognised or standard funeral services for animals and there is little guidance on such matters for some religious leaders. In Japan, however, Buddhist temples and privately owned pet cemeteries recognise the importance of pet memorialisation and provide concrete manifestations of the ritual treatment of dead pets[22]. Such rituals are in part explained by traditional Japanese values, where animals had once been regarded as powerful and even vengeful spiritual forces, which could wreak havoc on humans, depending on how they were cared for during their lifetime. While, from a Buddhist perspective, animals are sentient beings with the “potential for better rebirth and salvation”, there are no “Buddhist scriptures specifically for animals, let alone pets”[23].

What is key to take away from this contemporary research is that companion, namely pet animal grief, bereavement and loss is now recognised as a growing field of concern, practice and care. This development, as noted, reflects the number of animal and species relations that we now have in our domestic setting. As the number of creatures we constitute as pets has increased, the number of extinct species, recorded, witnessed and accounted for has become manifold. While one could potentially read our close relations to pets as an inverse or perhaps even subconscious reaction to this trend, the literature on companion pet loss illustrates how in bringing animals into our familial folds, their death and loss can impact us as much as the death of a human significant. Equally, there is the recognition that we have yet to develop appropriate rituals to support the grief that accompanies pet loss, with recommendations also being provided for counsellors on how to deal with disenfranchised grief, such as another’s response that it was “only a dog”. Findings from veterinary science, human environment studies and child development provide important indicators as to how we might approach species loss that is less tangent on our domestic pet relations and more broadly associated with the mass extinction of species, climate change and environmental degradation. Taking this logic and applying it to how we might move forward with dealing with the disenfranchised grief associated with extinction, the following stories provide insight into how artists, public institutions and concerned citizens are approaching this matter. Considering these stories as exemplars, that act as navigable paths or ley lines, each provides a glimpse into ways that we are beginning to explore and express the forms of grief and mourning, which I later describe in this paper as liquid loss.

Contemporary Responses to Loss and Grief 

In 2008, I curated (with support from CADA and Margarida Mendes) the UM Media Art Festival in Lisboa. This particular edition dealt with the notion of gesture, and as part of the exhibition we showed the work Entropy by the Finnish artist Terike Happoja. Entropy is a one-channel video work, which uses an infrared camera to show the cooling down of a horse’s body after its death. The piece, which lasts twenty-five minutes, is an edit of the original recording, which lasts nine hours. Projected onto the large white walls of a disused garage in downtown Lisboa, the work is a meditative reflection that captures the heat leaving the horse’s body. The work is currently contextualised on Haapoja’s website[24] as an example of how “the image reveals something of the invisible reality” that conceals other realities. With emphasis placed on processes of visualisation, what we define as the ‘moment of death’, opens up and is captured by the artist who in turn creates a tangible space through which the viewer can contemplate the horse’s death and life. The thermal image captures the cooler temperatures of the horse’s body in blue, purple, and green, with red, orange, or yellow expressing warmer zones. Over the course of the video, the warm colours slowly diminish, as the horse’s final living moments are silently recorded. Reflecting on processes of mourning, one could refer to the work as a homage and celebration of the horse’s life. 

As a piece of art, Entropy works on many levels, and holds a space, a space through which we can, say goodbye to the animal in the simplest way. It also acts as a commemorate act similar to how, on the death of a loved one, we select portrait images to remember them. Entropy is a portrait of another kind that alludes not just to the form, shape and being of the horse as a living creature, but also—as the title suggests—to the degradation of matter, energy, to death and disorder. Haapoja, who has gone on to create a number of works that take the ‘animal’ as central, recently wrote that we need to move “beyond an order that organizes beings into those protected and those killable by using animality and humanity as its divider”[25]. Drawing on the work of American philosopher Cora Diamond[26], Haapoja speaks to “letting go of a binary logic” that divides human and animal, so that new forms of kinships can flourish. Adding to Haapoja’s viewpoint, creating compassionate spaces where the loss of kin species is acknowledged and held is part of work required to dissolve such binary positions.

Almost a decade after showing Entropy, on the 30th of November 2016, we gather at the Digital Culture Research Centre, UWE and Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol, to raise a glass of port wine in memory of the blue stag beetle and the short-haired bumblebee. The act is a small gesture to mark the ‘Remembrance Day for Lost Species’, which since 2011 has been set aside as a day to memorialise extinct species. The project website (lostspeciesday.org) documents activities associated with the day and provides recommendations for remembrance, restoration and recuperation. Co-founded by Feral Theatre (in partnership with The Life Cairn), the day is based on previous work by both groups, including ‘A Funeral for Lost Species’[27] (Feral Theatre) and The Life Cairn project, initiated in 2011 by artist, storyteller and rewilder Andreas Kornevall and Rev Peter Owen Jones, as a means to mark species loss[28]. The word “cairn” is derived from the Scottish Gaelic tradition of creating a marker from the layering of dry stones on top of each other. Adopting this process as a ritual to mark species loss, cairns are now recreated across the world. Reviewing the work of Lost Species Day, journalist Jeremy Hance[29] notes how the work provides a space for a grieving process that extends beyond our human parochialism.

Feral Theatre, A Funeral for Lost Species (2011). Image credit: Abigail Horn

‘Remembrance Day for Lost Species’ and The Life Cairn project are therefore acts of mourning, which register the need to create spaces through which to grieve species and landscape loss. In a similar act of registration, Bristol Museum recently responded to the IPBES report on global biodiversity, as well as to demands from school children to tell the truth about the animals on display in its World Wildlife Gallery. In August 2019 museum staff shrouded endangered species in black mourning veils, to highlight the seriousness of the threat of extinction[30]

Since 2018, funeral processions[31] for lost species and plants have been widely used by members of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement as a means through which to enact a sense of solidarity and remembrance for extinct companion animals and landscapes, while also drawing attention to the cause and the seriousness of the situation. The aesthetic choice to appropriate funeral symbols (coffin, veils, mourning dress), expresses not only “biological annihilation” but also through silence and pageant, often and intentionally enacted in densely populated urban centres, creates space through which loss can be acknowledged and mourning publicly legitimised. Founded in 2018 in the southwest of England (Bristol and Stroud), XR is a non-political movement, which uses civil disobedience as a means to incite government change on climate breakdown, biological loss and ecological collapse. It is focused on three central demands that include declaring a climate emergency, reducing carbon emissions by 2025 and establishing citizen assemblies as a means of participatory governance. Regular and consistent protest and disturbance is central to the XR approach, and to support this the Bristol-based performance group Invisible Circus created the ‘Red Rebel Brigade’, which is now replicated around the world at various XR protests. Walking in slow motion and using mime to create a series of living tableaux during protests, the ‘Red Rebel Brigade’ covers the body entirely with their distinctive red costume that includes full-length robes, headdress, veils and long-sleeved gloves. Performers’ faces are completely painted in white, with eyes outlined in black and lips in red, their presence symbolising not just the common blood we share with all species, but also acting as a warning of the destruction that could come if we do not act now[32].

Red Rebel Brigade, Invisible Circus (2018). Image credit: Jeremy Peters

Liquid Loss: Naming, Co-creating and Legitimising Rituals for Ecological Loss

The above works are intentionally selected to illustrate how different styles of artistic and performance practice (Haapoja, Feral Theatre, The Life Cairn), concerned citizens (Extinction Rebellion) and public institutions (Bristol Museum) are now deeply engaged in what I view as mourning processes associated with companion species loss, mass extinction and environmental degradation. The intention with this short paper is to provide a primary view on how such expressions have emerged over the last fifteen years, with heightened actions (funerals, processions, remembrance days) in the last four to five years acting as release valves that illustrate our human need to negate the disenfranchised and marginalised forms of grief that arise from the sense of companion species and landscape loss that are not yet formally accepted within the mainstream. 

Furthermore, these works constitute what I would also consider to be cogent responses to liquid loss, which I define as the loss associated with the death of organisms, niches, landscapes, the loss of the tundra, heather, reef, Caribbean monk seal and moa. Liquid loss is also the fluid, runny loss of icecaps and bog land. It additionally refers to the lack of etiquette or procedures to navigate this new territory, as the protocols for such loss have yet to come fully into this world. By acknowledging liquid loss, we return to the gooey warmth of the compost heap, to the knotted and entangled experience of living together in human and non-human worlds. This acknowledgement is a process whereby the acceptance of such death, as well as the need to recover from it, runs parallel to a process of recovering from the trauma of having been so utterly divorced in the first place from our environs[33]. This divorce can also be constituted, as ethnographer Bird Rose notes, as the “drag of the shimmer”—the shimmer referring to the diminishing of the brilliance, which Yolngu, Aboriginal artists refer to as the bir’yun that is the ancestral force, the ecological pulse and rhythm of earth:

“…what is actually occurring is more dire than the numbers indicate. There are the functional extinctions, the extinction cascades, the extinction vortexes; these are ways in which, as things start to slip down that death road, other things start going too. Relationships unravel, mutualities falter, dependence becomes a peril rather than a blessing, and whole worlds of knowledge and practice diminish. We are looking at worlds of loss that are much greater than species extinction numbers suggest.”[34]

There is an urgency here that comes with this loss that requires us to dig deep, to go beyond human-centric mourning rituals and ways. Liquid loss is an attempt to articulate the sensibilities and sensitivities that we need to adapt, in order to deal with the cascades and vortexes that are left behind by mass extinction. Rooted in emerging new rituals, practices and expressions of companion species and landscape mourning, liquid loss is an act of profound connection and love that articulates an aesthetics of attention and healing, which on the one hand acknowledges the abstracted alienation and dislocation that has resulted from centuries of capitalocene logics and, on the other, supports stepping beyond binary taxonomies. In attending to liquid loss we begin to create and hold spaces through which we can regain the sense of “we-ness” that attunes us once more to the shimmer of our earthbound existence.

October 2019

REFERENCES AND NOTES

[1] Tsing, Anna, Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan and Nils Bubandt. Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017, p. 1.

[2] Ceballos, Gerardo, Paul Ehrlich, Anthony D. Barnosky, Andrés García, Robert M. Pringle, and Todd M. Palmer, “Accelerated Modern Human-induced Species Losses: Entering the Sixth Mass Extinction” in Science Advances 1, no. 5 (June 2015), e1400253 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.

[3] Background rate is the rate at which species would go extinct without human activity.

[4] Ceballos, Gerardo, Paul Ehrlich, Anthony D. Barnosky, Andrés García, Robert M. Pringle, and Todd M. Palmer. “Biological Annihilation via the Ongoing Sixth Mass Extinction Signalled by Vertebrate Population Losses and Declines.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(30), E6089-E6096. 

[5] IPBES. The Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production. S.G. Potts, V.L. Imperatriz-Fonseca, and H.T. Ngo (eds.). Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Bonn, Germany, 2016. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3402856

[6] Windle, Phyllis. “The Ecology of Grief” in Ecopsychology. Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind, edited by Theodore Roszak, Mary E. Gomes and Allen D. Kanner, 136-145. Berkeley: Counterpoint, 1995, p. 142.

[7] Refer to Shepard, Paul. “Introduction: Ecology and Man – A Viewpoint” in The Subversive Science: Essays Toward an Ecology of Man, edited by Paul Shepard and Daniel McKinley. Houghton Mifflin Co, 1969 and Roszak, Theodore, Mary E. Gomes and Allen D. Kanner. Ecopsychology. Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind. Berkeley: Counterpoint, 1995.

[8] Windle, p. 142.

[9] Bowlby, John. Attachment. Attachment and Loss: Vol. 1. New York: Basic Books, 1969. Bowlby, John. Loss: Sadness & Depression. Attachment and Loss: Vol. 3. London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psychoanalysis, 1980.

[10] Parkes, Colin Murray. “The Nature of Grief.” International Journal of Psychiatry 3, No. 5 (June 1967), pp. 435-8. Parkes, Colin Murray. “Models of Bereavement Care.” Death Studies 11, No. 4 (July 1987): 257-261. Parkes, Colin Murray. “Coping with Loss: Bereavement in Adult Life.” British Medical Journal 1998; Mar 14; 316(7134), pp. 856–859.

[11]  Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth. On Death and Dying. New York, NY: Macmillan, 1969.

[12] Bonanno, George A. The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss. New York: Basic Books, reprint edition, December 2010. 

[13] Wordon, William J. Grief Counselling and Grief Therapy, Fifth Edition: A Handbook for the Mental Health Practitioner – Grief Counselling Handbook on Treatment of Grief, Loss and Bereavement. Springer Publishing Company, 4th edition, 2009.

[14] Parkes, Ibid.

[15] Doka, Kenneth J., ed. Disenfranchised Grief: Recognizing Hidden Sorrow. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1989.

[16] For example see Chur-Hansen, Anna. “Grief and Bereavement Issues and the Loss of a Companion Animal: People Living with a Companion Animal, Owners of Livestock, and Animal Support Workers” in Clinical Psychologist 14, No. 1 (2010): 14-21. Hueberge, Roschelle A., and Jessica Pierce, “Companion-Animal Caregiver Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs Regarding End-of-Life Care” in  Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 20, No. 4 (2017): 313-323. Kolondy, S.W. “Companion Animal Illness and Human Emotion” in Problems in Veterinary Medicine 3, (1991): 1-5. Pierce, Jessica. The Last Walk: Reflections on our Pets at the End of Their Lives. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2012. Tzivian, Lilian, Michael Friger and Talma Kushnir. “Grief and Bereavement of Israeli Dog Owners: Exploring Short-Term Phases Pre- and Post-Euthanization.” Death Studies 38, No. 2 (2014), pp. 109-117.

[17] Melson, Gail F. Why the Wild Things Are: Animals in the Lives of Children. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001. Melson, Gail F. “Child Development and the Human Companion Animal Bond” in American Behavioral Scientist, 47 (2003), pp. 31-39.

[18] Melson (2003), p. 31.

[19] Haraway, Donna. Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham: Duke University, 2016.

[20] Growth from Knowledge, Global Study: Pet Ownership, 2016. https://www.gfk.com/global-studies/global-studies-pet-ownership/

[21] Chur-Hansen, 2010.

[22] Ambros, Barbara. “Vengeful Spirits or Loving Spiritual Companions? Changing Views of Animal Spirits” in Contemporary Japan, Asian Ethnology 69, no. 1 (2010), pp. 35-67. Kenny, Elizabeth. “Pet Funerals and Animal Graves in Japan.” Mortality 9, No. 1, February 2004, pp. 24-60.

[23] Ambros, 2010, p. 39.

[24] http://www.terikehaapoja.net/entropy-2004. Last accessed: 7 October, 2019.

[25] Haapoja, Terike. “Ecotopia – Unlearning Animality.” In Shifter 24: Learning and Unlearning, edited by Avi Alpert and Sreshta Rit Premnath, 2019. http://www.terikehaapoja.net/3106-2.

[26] Diamond, Cora. “Eating Meat, Eating People” in Philosophy 53, No. 206 (October 1978), pp. 465-479. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Royal Institute of Philosophy.

[27] A Funeral for Lost Species: https://vimeo.com/25260994, highlights from the performance and sculpture installation at St Peter’s Church, Brighton Fringe Festival, May 2011. Created by Feral Theatre.

[28] Parkins, Keith. “The Life Cairn, A Memorial for Extinct Species” in Medium, December 2013. https://medium.com/dark-mountain/the-life-cairn-1483610d05ab.

[29] Hance, Jeremy. “Why Don’t we Grieve for Extinct Species?”, The Guardian, November 19, 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/radical-conservation/2016/nov/19/extinction-remembrance-day-theatre-ritual-thylacine-grief.

[30] Morss, Alex, “Museum shrouds endangered wildlife exhibits in mourning veil”, The Guardian, Wed, 14th Aug, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/14/museum-shrouds-endangered-wildlife-exhibits-in-mourning-veil 

[31] Mounter, Brendan and Hartley, Anna. Extinction Rebellion protesters stage a mock funeral and block the streets in Brisbane CBD, 2019. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-10/extinction-rebellion-protest-actions-brisbane-cbd/11588850.

[32] Heardman, Patrick. “The Meaning Behind Extinction Rebellion’s Red-robed Protesters” in Digital Dazed, 26 April, 2019. https://www.dazeddigital.com/politics/article/44238/1/meaning-behind-extinction-rebellions-red-robed-protesters-london-climate-change (note: the group is incorrectly referred to here as the Red Brigade. The correct name is Red Rebel Brigade).

[33] Fisher, Andy. Radical Ecopsychology, Second Edition, Psychology in the Service of Life. Suny Press, 2013, p. 52.

[34]  Bird Rose, Deborah. “Shimmer: When All You Love Is Being Trashed.” In Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene, edited by Anna Tsing, Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan and Nils Bubandt, 51-61. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017, p. 52


TERESA DILLON is an artist and researcher creating performances, installations, sound and texts that tell stories about humans and companion landscapes. Taking the urban as a primary site of habitation, her work explores the embodied nature of techno-civic relations and the influences of technology on human and species living arrangements. From this perspective, reoccuring themes within her work address notions of survival, repair and recuperation, care and hospitality, encountering, commoning, pollution, data governance and surveillance. She is a Humboldt Fellow and has held research and lecture posts at Cambridge University, UK and Trinity College Dublin. Curatorial invites include HACK-THE-CITY (Science Gallery, Dublin, 2012) and transmediale (2016). Since 2013, Teresa has hosted Urban Knights, a programme of talks and workshops, which provokes and promotes practical approaches to rethinking urban governance and ‘smart’ city living. Her work has been published and exhibited internationally (Ars Electronica, Helsinki Design Week, LABoral, 7a*11d, Locws International; Solstice Arts Centre), presented at various conferences and symposia (Make City Festival, ISEA, EcoCity), and reviewed in Nature Magazine and Wire. Teresa currently holds the post of Professor of City Futures at the School of Art and Design, University of the West of England, Bristol, where she leads on the RepairActs programme.

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