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Future Fossils

Michael Davidson, Tommy Perman & Rob St. John

Two concrete blocks are installed in Chalmers Close, each containing visual traces of seemingly-organic forms, created by casting USB cables and corrugated plastic drainage pipes into the structures. The blocks are a response to the notion of ‘future fossils’, the speculative traces that contemporary human activities will leave in the geological record for possible excavation by future generations.

The idea of future fossils is part of a wider debate over the designation of a new geological epoch, the ‘Anthropocene’, in which humans are figured as ‘geological actors’ with the capacity to significantly influence Earth’s climate and environments.

As a result, it’s possible to imagine the ‘speculative stratigraphies’ currently in formation, thick with traces of the contemporary age: factory-farmed chicken bones, radioactive isotopes, concrete shards, plastiglomerates and microplastic grains. What will this site look like in another 10,000 years? Another 100,000 years? What traces will remain?