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Claire Chaulet loves to combine visual arts, performative art and socio-cultural projects and has been coordinating a wide variety of projects in the non-profit association Artistania since 2012. She is interested in how creative processes can be used to promote social participation, transcultural understanding and emancipation.


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Museum of non-natural history // Guided tour

Installation made with Saba Tsereteli 
commissioned by Borealis AG | 2018
The Installation was exhibited in the Super Studio (Milan 2018), Innovation Center (Linz 2019),
Joahnnes Kepler Universität (Linz 2020)

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to observe the very latest discovery of the museum of non-natural history.

During our expedition in the Atlantic desert in summer 2056, we - me and my colleagues from the research department - had the chance to discover the remains of a very special aquatic craniate from the post-modern era.

The remains are disintegrating, as you can observe, but, due to the huge amount of plastic absorbed, the shape of the skeleton was conserved. As we all know plastics have this fantastic quality of durability and degrades very slowly, as their chemical structure renders them resistant to many natural processes of degradation.
Through this carcass our researchers found out more about the post-modern era, which in scientific terms is called “petrolithic”, due to the obsessive use of petrol. The cruel irony of this period is that it was not the scarcity of petroleum which finally annihilated it but the unexpected popping out of nuclear waste. Until now we were not able to find out who and what was the mistake or misunderstanding behind.
Now you have to imagine the world in the time of this chordate: this world was overfed with plastic. The oceans were satiated with plastic. Wales were devouring plastic to death. The stomachs of fishes and birds were colored with plastic bags, plastic stopper, plastic particles, plastic bottles, plastic packaging. Our scientists estimate that in in the post-modern times 12 million tonnes of plastics were leaking into the ocean every year. Unimaginable for us, isn’t it?

At that time, you have to know, plastic was not a valuable and rare good as it is today. It was so common that humans even used it only once. They called it “single use plastic”. This is not a fictive story: what you can see inside this fish is exactly this extravagant use of plastic of this era. It’s not for nothing that we call the humans of this era “Homo plasticus”.

But now look at these insects: aren’t they remarkable? To let you know: they are not real, it’s a realistic reconstitution of these insects of former times. Scientists used genetically modified peanuts to reach an approximate shape of this exceptional species. This species, called 'ants', was capable of sorting, recycling and degrading plastics in a surprisingly efficient way. Some of my colleagues are even affirming that their determined effort saved mankind from the need to emigrate to Mars. Of course, this thesis is very audacious and not yet proved. Nevertheless, archives from that times show that if the ants would not have taken their task seriously, there would be today more plastic waste than animals in the world.

Let's have a closer look: these microbial communities isolated from soil samples mixed with starch have been capable of recycling polypropylene in an extraordinary way.

Ants are eusocial insects, the highest level of organisation of animal sociality. They are defined by the following characteristics: division of labour, communication between individuals, and ability to solve complex problems such as waste! Their ability to exploit resources may bring ants into higher intelligence level then humans. These ants are small and insignificant at first glimpse, but they can carry 10 - 50 times their body weight. They work together and never give up. Ants have abilities to move mountains. They have a delicate balance of individual effort and teamwork.
But as you can see in this reconstitution we didn’t yet found out the finalisation of the recycling process: the mystery remains, how these brave creatures managed to bring mountains of wasted plastic into the new circularity, which we know nowadays.

As part of the tour you have now the chance to visit the archeological reconstitution department and create your own portable ant, as a symbol of micro-heroism.

Photos by David Rudolf

Wave of Changes (2019)

Installation made with Saba Tsereteli
commissioned by Borealis AG | 2018
Plastic, plaster
250 cm* 300 cm* 400 cm

The first exhibition of ‘Wave of Change’ took place in 2019 at Langen Foundation, Museum in Neuss. 

This installation is an invitation for reflection on the relationship between the  ecognition of the collective environmental catastrophe and the effective measures taken to confront the matter.

‘Wave of Change’ has a continuous character of expansion: it evolves through the interest it creates. The number of hands in the installation increases by the changing waves of development, progress and sometimes regress of response by global leaders on the issue of environmental justice.