Anthropocene Interventions is an ongoing series of sculptures, installations and socially engaged practice conducted primarily in a contemporary office space intended to allow the co-workers to question their relationship with Nature. This website explores two elements of the practice led research; the mesh and the gift and details the socially led practice, chronologically. The mesh allows for a transversal approach to gain understanding that we are a part of Nature and not separate from it and the gift is utilised within the project as a catalyst for social engagement and to indicate the possibility of alternate economies.
I am Susie Lachal, a socially engaged artist and my project examines how Anthropocene relations, and in particular, entanglements with Nature can be explored and reconceived by thinking through art practice. By utilising this methodology to the development of artwork there is potential for new forms of communication to develop, such as ‘poetic and aesthetic communication’, allowing humans access to information that may be too difficult to conceptualise in raw form, for example, scientific data depicting carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere by means of academic, scientific journal articles.
The Anthropocene is defined as a historic period marked by humankind’s impact on earth and subsequent consequences including planetary warming and loss of biodiversity. Current research indicates that planetary warming and environmental degradation are a result of human behaviour (Waters et.al. 2016, Crutzen and Steffen 2003).
Etienne Turpin stated in the keynote address for the ‘Arts in Society’ Conference at UCLA in August 2016, that anthropogenic change, as a processional element, needs critical discussion. In the case of this series of office interventions, a critical narrative of the Anthropocene has the capacity to connect the co-workers to the planet and its other inhabitants. The Anthropocene is a direct indicator of the cumulative effect humans have had on Nature over thousands of years. This durational anthropocentric behavior has culminated in a time of uncertainty and a realization that immanent change is paramount. What is required now is not restricted to research of Nature itself, ‘but participation within nature.’ (Barad in Dolpijn and Van der Tuin p165) I am attempting to challenge a group of co-workers via a durational engagement lasting several years.
Crutzen, P & Steffen, W 2003, ‘How Long Have We Been In The Anthropocene Era?’, Climatic Change 61: 251-257
Dolphijn, R & van der Tuin, I 2012, New materialism: Interviews and Cartographies, Open Humanities Press, http://www.openhumanities press.org
Waters, C. N., Zalasiewicz, J., Summerhayes, C., Barnosky, A. D., Poirier, C., Galuszka, A., . . . Daniel, d. R. (2016). The anthropocene is functionally and stratigraphically distinct from the holocene. Science, 351(6269) doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/10.1126/science.aad2622
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