Burrowing Through the Edifice: Viewing the Patterns of Woodboring Beetles as a Representation of the Chthulucene

  • Image
    model photograph
    Spalted maple string figure
    Timothy Baker
Timothy Baker

Following a process of formal and craft explorations this thesis uses the lines, tracings, and voids of various forest pests, specifically woodboring beetles and their fungal symbionts, as a way of evoking Donna Haraway’s Chthulucene. Events like the rapid expansion of the mountain pine beetle’s range and the various invasions of alien beetles might be thought of as just the work of these insects but are now processes that humans have become fundamentally complicit in. Part of these beetles impact is the creation of large amounts of fascinating material that can be used to represent the compxlicated web of larger systems that has resulted in these conditions. Starting from the source of the material produced by the beetles, and how they have become bundled up in the many spiraling outward impacts of the climate crisis, this work studies the affective qualities of the boring beetle and how it might be used to represent the anxieties of the climate crisis era. Through working with these materials, scaling up and transforming their forms and experimenting with what they might create at different scales, this thesis hopes to provide creative ways of ‘staying with the trouble’.

Project Date