My practice-based Ph.D. at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, Species of Exchange – Investments in Nature,, investigates the changing modes of investment in tropical nature. I demonstrate how the zoological and botanical scientific objects offer the researcher and curator an under-examined archive for tracing the complex geopolitical legacies of environmental and colonial violence and their attendant visual economies. My research links colonial practices of “collecting” to current strategies for “banking” nature; nineteenth century European specimen collections are thus read as precursors to contemporary primary rainforest investment zones. I also consider practices of forest modification from the invention of Prussian forest management in the eighteenth century to contemporary mono-cultural plantations of oil palm in Indonesia. My analysis of colonial scientific practices of specimen collecting and forest modification in Nusantara provides the historical basis against which I investigate contemporary modes of investing in nature through “species banking” and “forest financialisation.” My Ph.D. will be realized as a doctoral dissertation and three attendant exhibitions in German natural history museums.
My first and second supervisor are Dr Susan Schuppli and Prof Sean Cubitt. For a longer description of my research project please download my Précis (latest update May 2017).
My doctoral research is supported by a CHASE Doctoral Training Partnership (tuition grant) from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).