Anthrobscene: My Thoughts + Responses

I spent the last week reading The Anthrobscene by Jussi Parikka. Here are some of my thoughts about the essay and some thoughts from what the essay has made me think about.

I decided that to just read through the essay even if I understand it or not as something I will understand over time and others instantly. When reading into the Anthropocene I find that a lot of the time people are talking with facts and figures that I can’t visualise or compare to other things. To begin with I wasn’t too sure if I really understood the first chapter so I think once I’ve read a few more texts then I will reread this first chapter.

One thing that came across to me as in the essay was this idea of the geology of media. Material gradually becomes media. All the pieces of material, mineral, ore, man-mades are from all over the world in this one item. I have been thinking about this the last few days and trying to understand my computer or my phones as a museum geological material.

Another thing that I started to think about was what happens to all of the energy that we have stored up after we have gone – would some of our renewable energy machines such as wind turbines, solar, hydroelectricity still be storing energy for a while after we have gone – until the machines themselves decay with human attention and maintenance.

‘Media history conflates with earth history; the geological material of metals and chemicals get deterritorialized from their strata and reterritorialized in machines that define out technical media culture.’ (16)

I quite like this quote – It puts this idea of the geology of media into perspective. Our natural materials are the media culture.

Although this might be because I have been watching all the Planets documentaries on BBC One, the other thing that this essay made me think about was the planet as a whole in terms of where we sit in the universe and what our contribution to the process of our planet is similar to the transformation of other planets – i.e just like other planets, significant moments in a planets history has the ability to change what a planet looks like when viewing it from out of space. I know this seems really obvious… but thinking about my work and what it is responding to I feel that it needs to look a bit deeper than looking at the anthropocene as a whole.

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