Speculative Zoology: Fictitious Examples of Factual Processes

Image of a copy of a magazine with Japanese script and an illustration of a speculative bio-species adjacent to a rabbit.
Interspecies Futures 2021
Dougal Dixon (2021)

Event Info

Join us for a conversation and artist talk with Dougal Dixon, Scottish scientist/artist and founder of the speculative zoology genre, who will present an overview of his publications starting with After Man: A Zoology of the Future (1981), The New Dinosaurs (1988), The Future is Wild (2002), Greenworld Vols. 1 & 2 (2010), and more. Dixon will describe his use of book archetypes, including natural field guides, sci-fi paperbacks, pop-up books and more, as well as discuss his latest projects, including his contributions to the new Netflix docu-fiction series Alien Worlds.

Note: Center for Book Arts will hold this event entirely online. A Zoom link will be sent in an email to all registrants.

About the Speaker

Dougal Dixon, Scottish scientist/artist and founder of the speculative zoology genre, is a full-time writer and book editor specializing in the earth sciences, and has many children’s books and encyclopaedias to his name. He his acquired a reputation for putting over the concepts in a totally novel way. Along these lines his most notable books are After Man: a zoology of the future in which he explained the workings of evolution by postulating the types of animals that may evolve in times to come (optioned by Spielberg’s Dreamworks company); The New Dinosaurs, in which he described the zoogeography of the world by describing what life might be like today had the dinosaurs not become extinct; Man After Man, in which the physical changes to the earth’s environment over the next few million years are described through the eyes of people who have been genetically engineered to cope with them, and Time Exposure (aka The Age of Dinosaurs) in collaboration with wildlife photographer Jane Burton, in which extinct animals are dramatically portrayed in lifelike photographs.

He has made several television appearances, and acted as a consultant and animator for a video programme about dinosaurs. He has acted as presenter for a Japanese television programme about evolution, during which he worked in the Serengeti, the rain forest of Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands.

Dougal Dixon, Scottish scientist/artist and founder of the speculative zoology genre, will present an overview of his publications, starting with After Man: A Zoology of the Future (1981), The New Dinosaurs (1988), The Future is Wild(2002), Greenworld Vols. 1 & 2 (2010) and more. Dixon will describe his use of book archetypes, including natural field guides, reportage, and pop-up books, as well as discuss his latest projects, including his contributions to the new Netflix docu-fiction series Alien Worlds.

About the Exhibition

Interspecies Futures [IF] is the first survey of bookworks by leading international practitioners from the contemporary fields of bio-art and speculative design who have turned to the codex as a tool for the proposal of alternative human-nonhuman scenarios.

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