Curating the Anthropocene is the idea that resonated with me most from our first ST197 seminar. I’ve never thought of attempting to showcase humanities entire impact on nature in one space, let alone using only one object to do so. I think this is a nearly impossible feat as we have touched nature in too many ways to capture with one exhibit or one object. I think there are ways to showcase it that could come close, but never fully do it justice. The idea of a piece of iron or steel as one object to curate the Anthropocene is intriguing to me. I think it best captures the beginning of humankind’s rapid impact on nature. While I see how there are multiple definitions of when the Anthropocene began, I agree with the idea that it truly started around the Industrial Revolution. This is why I would showcase iron or steel as one object to represent the Anthropocene. To me iron especially symbolizes the beginning of our ability as a species to move quickly and efficiently around places. It all started with the construction of large railway systems and progressed into cars and now the planes we have today. Our CO2 output is one of our most obvious impacts on the environment and that all started with coal burning railways and factories at the beginning of the industrial revolution. I think Jason deCaires Taylor captures this effect well in his sculpture entitled Anthropocene on the ocean floor off the coast of Mexico. It shows a sad, decrepit person on top of an arguably sadder looking piece of machinery. To me it looks like he is trying to say that the car and the other machinery we have produced to make our lives on this planet easier may also be our ultimate demise.

Link to interesting NPR story (with pictures) on Jason deCaires Taylor: