Media Ecology - Asian Carp Billboards

part of Reshaping the Shape: Embodiment, Ecology, and Culture of a Postnatural Fish with Sarah Lewison


All American Carp
Eat the River, Heal the River
All-American Carp

As abundant, nutritious, and delicious as Asian Carp are in the Mississippi watershed,hardly anyone eats them. They make up the vast majority of biomass in some waterways, pose a jumping haze and for this reason are consider an invasive pest.  They are vilified by conservationists and boaters alike, and yet still little is being done to make eco-logical use of this fish as a healthy and sustainable food source in a way that could help re-balance the riverine ecology of the Mississippi and its tributaries.

As part of our project Reshaping the Shape, Sarah Lewison and I designed a series of billboards that were in view along roadsides of southern Illinois promoting Bighead and Silver Asian Carp as under-utilized natural resources, superfoods, and as naturalized part of the Midwest, rather than a "alien invader" which is now so integrated in ecosystem that it can never practicably be eradicated.

Texts about the Reshaping the Shaping include -

“What on Earth”: Confluences in the planetary metabolism (AY)

The Possibility of All Species in an “All Species Parade” (AY)

Defensive Ecologies: Extracting Asian Carp from the Illinois River  (AY)

Of Forests, of Rivers, and of Meals (SL)

Imagining an Economy Based on Care (SL & AY)

SIU Exhibition page

Carp Convivals page

All Species Parade page

There is also an overview of Reshaping the Shape, of Deep Time Chicago's Field Station #4, and for the HKW project Mississippi: An Anthropocene River.


Eat the River, Heal the River

Asian Carp have populated the waters of the Mississippi and its tributaries to the detriment of other fish, making up as much as 90% of the water's biomass in some areas. To aid biodiversity and ecological health of the river, lowering the numbers of Asian Carp by catching and eating them makes good environmental sense.