Deep Time Environments: Art and the Materiality of Life Beyond the Human
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Human experience is not limited to living on earth, but being-earth or becoming-earth actually seems more accurate. A planetary perspective on human life vis-à-vis nonhuman forms brings to attention not only vast spatial dimensions but also immense temporal dimensions. A deep time perspective reveals the coevolution of biological and mineral species in complexities and scales indicating strong geological forces at work in all life. In my talk, I will analyze artwork by Katie Paterson, Oliver Kellhammer, and Adam Brown, each of which investigates the materiality of life in temporal dimensions beyond those of the human. These art works stand at the crossroads of art and science, and their own specific methods of inquiry—which are, above all, performative rather than representational—resonate with posthumanist planetary perspectives on life. Through re-enactment and intervention, the art works offer their viewers some alternative means of engagement with material forces and forms unfolding in immense temporal dimensions.
This research was supported by the National Science Center in Poland through individual grant DEC-2011/03/B/HS2/05290