top of page

Existential Gratitude

This project manifests as an online exhibition that opened in August 2020 and has been developed into a temporary exhibition at the UCL Slade School of Fine Art  (January – June 2022), UCL Institute of Archaeology (January 2022-September 2023), and now as an exhibition in the Octagon Gallery, Wilkins Building (September 2022 – February 2023). 

The process of conceiving, fabricating, translating, and presenting the exhibits was first developed through transdisciplinary online exchanges during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. Participants from UCL, the Architectural Association School of Architecture and Goldsmith’s Department of Design contributed to the fabulation and fabrication of the exhibits. The approach reflects the methodologies of the environmental humanities and ecocriticism, in allowing audiences to experience a physical interpretation of future worlds.

This online workshop format was replicated for the fabrication of the thirty new exhibits  for  the UCL Octagon Gallery exhibition, Objects of the Misanthropocene: Unearthing Futures .


Artist (updating)

Johann Austad, Jocelyne Chang, Merry Chow, Christine Chua, Alitza Nichole Cardona Collazo, Fran Crowe, Kasia Depta-Garapich, Michele Farmer, Antonia Calcedo Holguín, Kexin Jiang, Xiaozhou Ariel Li, Jimmy Loizeau, Lingyi Kong, Yiwen Li, Yuanbai Li, Yichun Liu, Robert Mead, Camilo Parra, Yihan Peng, Rosie Phillips, Lenard Planck  Kimberly Selvaggi, Korallia Stergides, Dean Sully, Madeleine Treneer, Hannah Uzor, Jo Volley, Lucy Waitt, Yuhan Xiao, Jiadi Yang, Funa Ye, Su Yin.


Jo Volley and Dean Sully

in a joint venture with UCL Museums and Cultural Programmes Team

Exhibition online content design

Xiaozhou Ariel Li

Project Conservator 

Nicole Zhou

Exhibition graphic design

Rose Nordin

IMoB website

Xiaozhou Ariel Li and Katherine Beckwith

Special thanks (updating)

Helen Carney, Hannah Cornish, Tannis Davidson, Aparna Dhole, Nacho Faccin, Anna Garnett, Clemency Gibbs, Marceline Graham, Emilia Kingham, Jesse Lundervold, Graeme McArthur, Samantha Manton, Clare Melhuish, Sarah Okpokam,  Sam Yee Pun, Lisa Randisi.

The Museum of Beyond

Several of the objects in Objects of the Misanthropocene: Unearthing Futures are on loan from The Museum of Beyond.
The Museum of Beyond imagines a future beyond oil... it's a life without plastics, and yet plastic fragments of our Oil Age lives continue to wash up on the shores of our oceans. Curated by artist Fran Crowe, the museum sees the present through future eyes, imagining what future generations might make of these plastic objects collected from our shoreline - and what they might think about us. Fran hopes that by thinking about the way we live now, we can begin to imagine how we might create a better future for all life on our planet. You can explore the museum’s full collection at
More of Fran’s work can be found at

UCL Museums

Objects of the Misanthropocene: Unearthing Futures also includes contributions from UCL Collections; the Grant Museum of Zoology, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian and Sudanese Archaeology, and UCL Science Collections.
With thanks to Lisa Randisi, Anna Garnett, Hannah Cornish and Tannis Davidson.
Suggested Citation: 
Sully, Dean., Gravesen, Cecilie., Beckwith, Katherine., Li, Xiaozhou., 2020. Objects of the Misanthropocene: A Time-Travelling Exhibition from the Museums of Beyond.

Before you leave...
Why not visit our Permanent Galleries and Online Shop?

Support us through Membership, Patronship, Sponsorship, or Donationship

What’s next?


The Illegal Museum of Beyond continues to host events that challenge the authority of narratives of past and future worlds. Using participatory speculation, the Museum develops critical heritage projects through online workshops on fabulation and fabrication.
New venues for the Objects of the Misanthropocene exhibition to be announced soon.
bottom of page