Archive for June, 2011

Human Geology


The arguments for the recognition of the Anthropocene are gathering pace, unsurprisingly. The ideas and facts have a defining momentum and are being consistently proposed by science researchers who are ready to move fully into this phase. There is an Anthropocene – Working Group – ‘gathering evidence for and against’. Reading more accessible texts like -Wonderful Life – Stephen Jay Gould  and Basin and Range –  John McPhee, we would know that geological time / deep time is a uniquely contested field of knowledge and imagination and therefore being continuously rewritten.

Artists have already knowingly been visiting this time zone. The modernistic stepping stones through rag pickers, ready makers and rhyzomic activists world-wide takes us right into the heart of the humanistic project as witnesses, outlaws and visionaries. The complex enfoldings of artistic practices, the willingness to explore what the world looks and feels like have visibly produced a critical engagement with the responsibilities that come with the Anthropocene. The naming of another deep time zone isn’t going to change the world, that has already happened, and is now being understood further,  in an evidenced based way, through the work of the scientists.

What the emergent naming of the new phase seems to allow is  for the recognition of the phenomena of production and transformation via the European industrial revolution and then the post WWII nuclear age right into the present crises of the wars of global resources (not on terror) and the drastic destruction of bio diversity. The increased technocratic structuring of the world as a systemic nature for human exploitation is the basic conflict. We are not at war with others on a distant planet, like some alien force but with ourselves, and yet that remains a dominant behavior.

The most interesting ideas that come to us from this debate is that geology can shift from rocks, natural materials and fossilised life into new categories. The separated sciences that claim ownership of thought and knowledge need to re-connect and form much more complex and relevant thinking and actions needed for this new time zone. The revolution will not be screen based, but it will need to evolve a new ecology of mind. (Morton et al)