Kat Austen

  EMAP Artist

In residence at the WRO Art Center (PL) 2020



Palaeoplasticene addresses the breakdown of plastic in the environment by engaging with a speculative past where plastic-based fungi evolved naturally, introducing plastic to the ecosystem in pre-human history. This fictional past invites the visitor to realize the longevity of the material and to engage with the implications for our current and future ecosystems. Designed to be durable and unreactive, plastic outlasts its surrounding flora and fauna. Yet ecosystems are already adapting to this new materiality with microorganisms evolving to feed on plastic, and plants being shown to take microplastics into tissue. Based on a series of artistic research experiments to encounter the enduring nature of plastic, which are documented online, the Palaeoplasticene sculpture invites visitors to engage with the longevity of plastic and the implications for our current and future ecosystems by reconfiguring our understanding of its presence over time.

Kat Austen


In her artistic practice, Kat Austen concentrates on environmental questions. She mixes disciplines and medias, creating sculptural installations and new medias, performances, and participative works. The practice of Kat Austen is based on research and extensive theories motivated by the will to explore the means of evolving to a future more just on the social and environmental plans.