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Objects of the Misanthropocene: discovering future worlds

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We invite you to contribute objects for an exhibition at UCL’s Octagon Gallery in September 2022
 

The exhibition at UCL Octagon Gallery (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/culture/octagon) will feature objects that  have travelled back to us from different future/alternative worlds. 

 The exhibits will be fabricated to depict objects that inhabit specific dystopian worlds (from fictional and non- fictional accounts of the Anthropocene). 

 A series of informal online workshops will be arranged to develop ideas and fabricate additional exhibits. 


You are invited to participate in these discussions about future/other worlds, and to fabricate an exhibit  for the exhibition.   

All suitable exhibits (digital/hybrid/analogue) will be included in the online exhibition, and a selection of fabricated  objects will be included in the Octagon Gallery Exhibition. 
 

‘Objects of the Misanthropocene: discovering future worlds’

is a special exhibition featuring objects that have travelled back to us from different future worlds.

 

The time-travelling objects are curated to highlight the urgency our obligations to our contemporary world, and to make visible our intergenerational responsibilities in creating preferable Anthropocene futures.

 

Speculating about future worlds is an opportunity to think about what we want and do not want to happen, and to do something about it now!

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Exhibition Back Story

The remarkable discovery of a crash site during the construction of the new UCL Student Centre in 2012 caused shock around the world.

What was revealed, following ten years of meticulous archaeological excavation and conservation research at UCL Institute of Archaeology, has revolutionised our understanding of the past, the future, and of time itself.

Painstaking forensic investigation identified that the crash site contained exhibits from a time-traveling exhibition sent back to us from a future museum. Time travel is notoriously imprecise and requires great skill to steer through the turbulence of temporal flows. It is not uncommon for time travellers to arrive without warning at the wrong time and place. Such incidents are often popularly known as UFO sightings.

It appears that an intergenerational loan scheme was organised by the Illegal Museum of Beyond as a warning from the inhabitants of future worlds about what lies ahead. In the hope that we will think about what we want and do not want to happen and to do something about it.  

Each exhibit, along with its accompanying description by a future curator, serves as a provocative message from the edges of the Anthropocene.

For the first time anywhere in the world, we are able to present a selection of the extraordinary finds in this ground-breaking special exhibition at UCL Octagon Gallery.

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Exhibition Key Messages


Speculating about future worlds is an opportunity to think about what we want and do not want to happen and to do something about it.

What we consider to be ethical and orthodox now is unlikely to be justifiable to those in the future who will bear the consequences of our actions. 

Speculative time-travel in museums gives our intergenerational obligations the same kind of urgency as our obligations to our contemporary world.
 
The certainty of a particular future is used to understand the uncertainty of the curated past. 
 
Living in the Anthropocene transforms our relationship with our pasts and our futures, it requires us to care for more-than-human relationships over extended non-human time scales.
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