Yesterday, here in the city where they awaited the end of the world in On The Beach, it was too hot to do anything but sit in front of a series of mechanical fans. Thankfully my friend Steen (@mediapathic) brought a piece of post-human art to my attention, something that proved to be a most welcome distraction…
Geyrhalter goes beyond ruin porn to a sustained meditation on the post-human state; his film is perhaps inspired by Claude Lévi-Strauss’s remark: “The world began without man, and it will complete itself without him.”
Source: The Guardian
“The Anthropocene is an antianthropocentric concept because it enables us to think the human species not as an ontically given thing I can point to, but as a hyperobject that is real yet inaccessible.” ~ Timothy Morton, Dark Ecology.
Homo Sapiens is ninety unrelenting minutes of being confronted by the Anthropocene.
Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s documentary shows us the world humanity made, minus its creator, in the early stages of decay.
Returning to nature, never having left it.
An aesthetically pleasing crime scene video. A post-apocalyptic objet d’art.
“This is how they lived, the species that ruined their homeworld and inexplicably vanished,” the label might read if this had been recorded by extraterrestrial archaeologists.
“A powerful portrait of humanity. A reflection of who they were only made possible by their absence.”
A video you might see playing on loop in an alien art exhibit dedicated to worlds that failed to make it through the Great Filter.
Or find in the entry for Earth, amongst a listing of planets currently under embargo by some galactic council… if the Zoo Hypothesis proves to be true.
There is, however, a dark optimism hidden inside this work if you have eyes to see it.
It implies that in a world without humanity, life goes on. That frogs and birds remain.
That butterflies too might survive and remember us like they remember long vanished mountains.
That we didn’t destroy the world completely. That there is still hope.
And that’s a place to build from while we’re still here.