What are you looking for?

Dirk Vis

Dirk Vis

Writer in Residence

Project title

I Tree

Research question

Vis writes ‘natural science fiction’, spinning narratives around what remains unknown. The aim is critical not-knowing: exploring the possibilities and limits of speculative writing for art and science.

Project description

In “I Tree” (working title), historical, biological and anthropological sources are combined with insights from indigenous worldviews and artistic research.

A psychologist is sent to the last tiny remnant of the Amazonian jungle. It is 2069. Improbable reports are coming from the nearest research stations. The sixth wave of extinction has passed its peak, the world’s oceans and continents have become impoverished and uniform, but at this spot in the jungle a diversity explosion is observed with increasingly exotic insect, animal and plant species never before described.

From the biologists, ecologists and anthropologists studying this forest no usable data comes back. If they themselves return at all, they break off their careers. The psychologist is sent to contact the last scientists remaining.

During forest walks, complicated by the heat, roaming militia, refugees, soldiers, smugglers, rich adventurers and increasingly bizarre plants, insects and animals, she is most troubled by increasingly vivid memories she is sure she cannot have experienced. She feels herself change, as well as her view of the forest, and what she encounters.

Selected publications

  • Paren of de kunst van de slaapkamer, novel, AtlasContact, 2022
  • Research for People Who (Think They) Would Rather Create, Onomatopee, 2022
  • Het reality-essay, novella, De Gids, 2017