YEAR 5 \\ Thesis

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ARCHIVING THE TECHNOSPHERE:

A BERGSONIAN MANIFESTO AGAINST CONSERVATION IN THE AGE OF THE ANTHROPOCENE

Human behaviour has manifested within the geology of Earth itself, leading scientists to propose a new epoch, The Anthropocene. In this age, we live atop an entirely man-made stratum, known as the Technosphere; consisting of all the structures we have built in order to survive. The ontological understanding becomes apparent that our present behaviours determine the archive of us in the Earth for millennia to come. There is a responsibility for the legacy of humankind beyond our lifetimes, in a geologically deep time frame. It becomes vital to understand in this context the impact that our preserving behaviours in the present may be having in the geological deep-future– what if by preserving our behaviours today we are perpetuating an unintended legacy? The uncertainty and risks the future holds should inform our behaviours now; our curatorial efforts should consider the future as much as the present. Henri Bergson’s philosophy serves as a theoretical framework for understanding the human experience of time and memory; within which we can reconsider archiving practices in the built environment. Through contemplating the consequences of conservation in the present and the future, the vast unknowns ahead encourage a rethinking of our heritage practice. Developing a theoretical approach through Bergson, paradoxical quirks of the present heritage institutions emerge. With this in mind, this thesis takes the form of a manifesto against conservation practices, for the sake of the heritage and thus

Henri Bergson’s philosophy serves as a theoretical framework for understanding the human experience of time and memory; within which we can reconsider archiving practices in the built environment. Through contemplating the consequences of conservation in the present and the future, the vast unknowns ahead encourage a rethinking of our heritage practice. Developing a theoretical approach through Bergson, paradoxical quirks of the present heritage institutions emerge. With this in mind, this thesis takes the form of a manifesto against conservation practices, for the sake of the heritage and thus legacy of the Anthropocene.

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image from Lucy Raven’s Chinatown

My thesis 

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