Naomi White

Time Capsules from the Anthropocene

Time Capsules from the Anthropocene

The Anthropocene refers to the geological time period we are living in, characterized by a deeply human centered perspective and known, continued progress towards our own extinction. Laws, societal norms, and culture in the Anthropocene view nature only in relation to how it serves humanity. Today, animals and their environments have no legal rights of their own, unless the extinction of animals, forests or oceans affect humans.

The effects of our species are literally being written into the rocks. Rocks act like black boxes, databases, cameras, recording our drive towards extinction at our own hand, through the pollutants we push into the sky. This work addresses climate change using the idea of rocks as time capsules for future beings to break open and read when we are gone. These are visual constructions of what the data might tell future life forms about this moment on earth, specifically our fraught relationship with animals and their habitats - our urge to domesticate, consume, and dominate nature, while paradoxically feeling a desire to be grounded and soothed by nature’s wildness, it’s unequivocal involvement in an agenda.

"The Anthropocene is a sensorial phenomenon - the experience of living in an increasingly diminished and toxic world."1 Capitalism is accelerating climate change through its inequity, patriarchy and dominance thinking, where violence is growing and resources are increasingly scarce. This influences us in everything we do and see. And yet, hope is a central tenant of being human, something most people cannot live without.

This work calls for consideration of new approaches, new perceptions, new ways of talking about and meeting the challenges of our time.

1. Davis, Heather & Etienne Turpin. “Art and Dearth: Lives Between the Fifth Assessment & the Sixth Extinction.”Art in the Anthropocene, edited by Heather Davis & Etienne Turpin, Open Humanities Press, 2015, p.6.

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