Posthuman Utopia



lori nix mall

Lori Nix, Mall, 2010.

Earth: it’s a neat-looking place.

Agèd. Spherical. Cerulean-ish.

Problem is, there are more than seven billion people here, gumming up the planetary works with such “advances” as “buildings,” “indoor plumbing,” and “rust-proof tension-mounted shower caddies.” Earth is so crowded with human beings that many of them live and work within mere feet of one another. It is, on Earth Day, something of a buzzkill.

Praise be to Lori Nix’s dioramas, then, for showing us how much better the world will be when humanity—that most entrenched of fads—passes, leaving our edifices to crumble under the forces of nature. Nix, whose work we’ve featured on the Daily before, takes at least seven months in building each of her small-scale constructions, most of which depict everyday institutions (art museums, laundromats, subways, bars, libraries) bereft of people and besieged by new growth.

“I don’t want to do scenes with lots of people where it implies mass death,” she told Newsweek. “It’s like being in New York City and people disappear overnight … People were in the middle of their activities, and poof. I don’t know why they’re gone. That’s for you to figure out.”

Her work will appear alongside other, similarly apocalyptic artists’ in “Post Human Utopia,” a show opening today at the Lodge Gallery.


Vacuum Showroom, 2006.


Subway, 2012.

Dan Piepenbring is the web editor of The Paris Review.