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Curator

human, future

mid-Anthropocene

Script of The Last Man

mid-late 20th century

Probably from England

This script was excavated in 0002837 from an old relic, dating back to the middle to late 20th century. The relic was revealed to be a former building where people at that time used to store physical documents. The materials of the script, according to specialists, are layered organic fiber and black colour pigment. The techniques, including the making of these layers and the pigment, as well as applying the pigment onto such layers, have been lost for at least seven centuries. The Last Man is the historical and religious canon for Lasmianity, which religion, as the mainstream of our society, believes that the Old World was destroyed by the pandemic in the 21st century described in the script, and the current New World was then rebuilt by Verney the Last Man. Some scholars, however, argue that the script contains fictional or artistically modified details. The script has provided an abundant amount of information on our historical, geological, mythological, religious, as well as technological past. 

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Curator

human, 0002035 C.E.

early-Anthropocene

Annotated book

late 21st century

Probably from England

This is a heavily used copy of Mary Shelley’s 0001826 novel, The Last Man. As demonstrated by the multiple languages, handwritings and inks annotated on the pages, this particular copy has passed through several hands. The fact that such a damaged copy has been treasured and conserved as a museum object indicates that Shelley’s novel likely went out of print by the 0002050’s, possibly due to a ban, which would indicate that the political environment of the near future does not endorse literature as a valuable source of education. Alarmingly, this suggests that actions in our present world and technological advancement have led to books either becoming superfluous or perceived as a threat to our society in the future. The story of the novel, set in the late 21st century, is about an unknown pandemic that ravages the whole world. In our present times, with COVID-19 as a genuine threat to the global population, could Shelley have predicted the future? Could this be why the book was banned? And will there be another, even more devastating global pandemic occurring in the near future? There are several possible reasons that this book was so important to people in the late 21st century, but the endurance of this particular copy suggests a darker future. This edition was published by Oxford University Press in 1994 and therefore represents one of the rare objects that has existed both in our past and our future.

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artist/creator

Ariel Li

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