Late Anthropocene: Three Continents

Over the last few months, I’ve collaborated on two new projects now showing in Pittsburgh. The first is at the Mattress Factory as part of the exhibition Gestures 15, curated by Katherine Talcott, in collaboration with Wendy Osher, with video contributions from Hot Spots collaborators Karin Bergdolt (Germany) and Elizabeth Monoian (Dubai).

Within the frame of a ‘natural’ history diorama, Late Anthropocene: Three Continents poses a question forged from the remains of our carbon-dependent world. Traces of a yellow brick road lead to an abandoned landscape captured in Pittsburgh; Nurnberg, Germany; and Dubai. Visitors are invited to consider this historical moment where past and future converge, and the possibility for change exists.

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Photo Credit: Brian Koski

Interpretive panel on right reads: In the mid-21st century, geologists formally agreed that a new geologic epoch, the Anthropocene, had begun. The term reflects the lasting impact humans have had on the planet, altering the course of evolution in ways that will last tens of millions of years—a distinction formerly reserved for natural geologic events, such as earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. These human impacts include habitat destruction and the introduction of invasive species, which have caused widespread extinctions; ocean acidification, which has changed the chemical makeup of the seas; and urbanization, which has vastly increased rates of sedimentation and erosion.

The term “Anthropocene” was originally coined by Paul Crutzen, who shared the 1995 Nobel Prize for discovering the effects of ozone-depleting compounds.


About Ann T. Rosenthal

eco/community artist, educator, writer
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