Our contemporary life is supported by transnational networks of transport. Cargo container ships transport 90% of all our produce across the globe - cheap, fast and available worldwide. However, these anonymous boxes traveling through our seascape distribute more than products. On departure, each ship fills ballast water tanks that keep the boats afloat. On arrival in the next port, the water that has been carried all along is discharged.
With the transportation of water, the cargo ships also transport organisms to new habitats. They are the unintentional passengers that end up living in foreign waters as invasive species. The consequences are far from innocent: invasive species affect ecological balance, as they often impact or outcompete native species.The boxes on show are a herbarium of cargo containers. They contain invasive species that have arrived to Dutch waters from overseas. The boxes demonstrate the living byproducts of our contemporary human behaviour of buying and shipping goods across our globe.
This speculative design project offers a glimpse into a potential future ecology of insects within the Netherlands. Hybridization, a natural process typically unfolding over extended periods, involves the interbreeding of native and invasive species. By accelerating this process and combining native and invasive species, this project challenges us to contemplate the implications of such rapid environmental change. It prompts us to reassess our relationship with nature and technology in a world where the boundaries between species may blur more rapidly than we previously imagined.
Noud Sleumer is a conceptual designer whose role is to critique ‘the act of making’. Within self-initiated and explorative projects his focus is trained on methods of deconstruction and reduction. Simplicity is the tool that underlies these approaches and enables Sleumer to create new playgrounds of creativity, in which we can collectively re-examine our relationship to man-made matter.