This exhibition engages the transformative power of the Anthropocene as a category of analysis and focus of creative practice. It illuminates exploratory work on the Anthropocene concept by an NYUAD collective. 

The Anthropocene marks a transformation in the earth’s history from the Holocene to a new geological epoch characterized by human impact. Despite its likely ratification by the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the term remains controversial, in particular with regard to the potential social or political implications of the prefix — Anthropos. Some alternatives — Anglocene, Capitalocene — seek to designate more clearly human communities or forms of social organization purportedly responsible for creating the conditions that mark the onset of the new era; others, for example, Chthulucene, designate models for alternative, less destructive and less anthropocentric ways of living on earth. This proliferation of nomenclature to designate the earth’s present age confirms and reflects the transformative power of the term, and a growing recognition of the urgent need to address the current planetary crisis. Compared with “global warming” or “climate change,” the idea of the Anthropocene reanimates the Arts and Humanities, transforming research, arts-marking, and teaching across disciplines. Characterizing the nature and significance of that transformation remains an unfinished project that we engage through a multi-media installation of gardens, photography, script writing and performance, sound bites and video, map-making and cartography and scholarly discourse.

Image: Constantinos Sofikitis, Part of the series “Visualizing Food” (2022). Messinia, Greece

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