FUTURE FOSSILS are remnants of the anthropocene– a sneak peak into a potential future where unchecked climate change affects even the wealthiest populations. In coastal areas like Newport, RI, these effects include rising sea levels and flash floods. The luxurious electronics of today are the hallmarks of human innovation, economic privilege, and massive environmental pollution.  

 

The fossilized remains of our present tell the repercussions of human-induced catastrophe– a prospective conclusion to the Anthropocene Epoch. When we have ended, what will we have left behind?

These artifacts were displayed in The Gilded Age 2.0 group exhibition at the Elms Mansion in Newport, RI in 2018. Utilizing augmented reality (AR) activated by physical objects, the show explored subversive luxury in the context of New England affluence. Visitors were able to view the objects through a tablet provided by the mansion to reveal the virtual component of the exhibition, enhancing the object's meaning.

FUTURE FOSSILS are "unearthed" pieces of 21st century technologies: Listening String (earphones), Whisper Guide (an obsolete audio tour guide from the Elms), and Knowledge Relocator (flashdrives). They were displayed at the Elms' conservatory, a space designed to be adorned with greenery and flooded with sunlight in order to be close to nature, yet also signified the control of the natural environment. A peek through the AR lens reveals a flooded conservatory reclaimed by the Easton Bay.

Materials used in the fossils include: genuine coastal RI rocks, concrete, HDPE (#2) plastic from old milk jugs, old resin, plaster, and PLA.  The process involved rigorous mold making in organic shapes, the sacrifice of antiquated electronics courtesy of the Preservation Society of Newport County, and wholesome collaboration of rock selection.

Thank you for viewing my weird rocks.

- Leah