DIY Animal Populator is an invitation to participate in the real and hypothetical landscapes of the present and future. Explore spaces—managed, urban, wild, free, and the fragmented mix in-between—for suitable habitats for these paper animals. This experience raises questions of belonging. Who, including our own human selves, fits in where, when and why? Consider the world from each animal’s unique perspective as well as imagine each cut-out as a storied individual, filling in information gaps with your own imagination. As a result of this encounter there is opportunity to build an empathic relationship with the animal and to actively practice sharing and/or respecting space for non-human animals.
The animals shown here range in levels of population, from what is considered Least Concern to Extinct. The act of inserting and documenting paper surrogates into the landscape may artificially offset our perception of that animal’s actual presence in the world, thereby helping to prevent acceptance of future losses. Even animals that present as common should not be taken for granted, if we are to have learned anything from the fate that befell the Passenger Pigeon.