In this fictional narrative from the Post-Anthropocene I propose an archaeology of the present through real and artificial hyperobjects, which, unlike us, have continued to transcend time and space far into the future.
We distance ourselves from an anthropocentric perspective, to a time when we no longer have a language, no longer have a voice, but only exist as a shadow, or a hypothesis. Whether we are replaced by cyborgs, animals, advanced machines, or alien races - I wonder how these Nonhumans will interpret our material culture, digging it out from the striations.
Faced with the difficulty of deciphering a past almost erased by time, how will the remnants testify and describe our existence? What will be left of human memory, and memory of humans? Could exceptional human consciousness and will be identified, in contrast to other animals, androids, or molecules in motion?
The idea of apocalypse always rises with human unease about our way forward. It
is not the end of the Earth, but that of man. Maybe this apocalypse will be about our narcissistic love of materialism and consumption. Or it might be a result of human genes that must always challenge their own limits, while dominating the ecosystem. What will become of half-planned cities and mountains of programmed obsolescence? Where will human symbiosis with technology over other species lead us? Will our legacy be the radical shift in evolution of plants and animals? Are we the massive geological event that leaves the next boundary in the strata?
Before this apocalyptic end many more human stories will be written in the record. Marie Velardi, an inspiring Geneva-based artist, works on this long-term chronical, collecting at the beginning of the twentieth millennium the ancient traces of habitation at the “junction” of the Rhône and Arve (Geneva) through typographic surveys, or inventing Chloropolis, the utopian ecological city of tomorrow. Our world may become warmer, colder, hostile, barren, or toxic to us, but yet it will remain entirely inhabitable, at least for awhile. Before the rising seas wash us
away, for example, we may find ways to build floating cities above, below, or on them. Proliferation of robots will bring entirely new sociopolitical and economic paradigms. Human history may be long in the future before the Post-Anthropocene, as dystopias rise and fall through our struggle to survive on this new Earth we are inevitably creating.
Will our awe and will go extinct before our species does? Maybe first we just need to think of ourselves as fossils.