Dutch chemist Paul Crutzen popularized the term ‘anthropocene’ in reference to the effects of human activity now visible within the Permian strata of the Earth. The widespread practice of excavating vast quantities of minerals and thus consequently re-forming the Earth’s geological archive has meant that we have well and truly imprinted evidence of humanity’s relatively short period of evolutionary history on to this planet. The written records of human history date back 5000 years and yet at our most dominant we are consciously aiding the acceleration of our own species’ extinction.
We, as humans, wield an extraordinary degree of influence over the planet that sustains us, and yet our concept of progress is driven primarily by a hunger to exhaust our environment. Copernicus proved in the 16th century that this planet and its people are not the centre of the universe, yet our destructive mentality of self-as-centre continues to shape the Earth’s living biosphere, edging the species ever closer to a state of ecological free fall.
Developed in conjunction with Craftsman, Anthropocene uses clay to form a continuous feedback loop with the environment. Patterns emerge as the practice draws the doer into a dialogue with the clay at their fingertips.
This piece generates a succession of clay-made archives; miniature sculptures laid out across an MDF board. Each pathway unfolds through the makers intention in that moment of placement. The process has the potential to continue indefinitely either from layering in another piece of clay or by moulding the existing material into new forms.
Clay and MDF board.