The sculpture is comprised of 10 resin cast ‘specimen’ samples of natural materials I forged around the downtown area of Montreal. Conservation piece for catastrophe looks to a future imaginary of life after the Anthropocene. Species Fictions, for me, reflects the speculative story I have tried to create about a damaged future in which we look to preserved plant and animal species as sacred objects, around which a host of fictions about the past are formed and circulated to keep hope alive.
This work is an imaginary artifact for the future after it has been desolated by humans, inspired by the speculative fictions of Donna Haraway. Though this may seem dystopian, it is rather a call to action for us to imagine the Earth’s future if we continue to damage the planet, versus, if we begin to live responsibly and ethically in the present. This future imaginary is meant to rethink myths of progress (rather than positing a sleek and technologically advanced future or a completely desolated and dystopian one), as Jussi Parikka suggests media archeology must also do, and does not make value judgements regarding a linear future that is inherently better or worse than our present. In attempting to ‘stay with the trouble’ of our present condition, and consider the real possibility of much of the Earth’s living creatures ceasing to exist, Conservation piece for catastrophe is a fake future artifact of preserved flora and fauna from the 21st century that will be seen by a future audience (post-Anthropocene with virtually no remaining organic life). Imagining a future landscape that is completely desolated, my sculpture is a fictional prototype for preserving nature. Natural materials such as leaves and flowers are encased in plastic, a human made synthetic compound that is toxic and will not biodegrade. Perhaps it is a contradiction to preserve natural materials in a toxic compound in order to save them for the future, however, I see this more as a troubling that calls into question what will outlast living matter post-Anthropocene.
This piece was produced in part for the COMS 876 Research-Creation course by Dr. Matt Soar at Concordia University.