Technofossils, 2019, saggar fired clay

"Millions of years from now, long after humans have gone, technofossils will be the defining imprint on the strata of the human epoch that people increasingly call the Anthropocene. If any palaeontologists were to appear on – or visit – the Earth in the far geological future, they will think the technofossil layer more weird and wonderful by far, than dinosaur bones. It’s something to think about when you next park the wheelie bin at the end of the drive."

Mark Williams cited by Ben Dibley in The Technofossil: A Memento Mori.

We have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since mass production of synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and incredibly, most of it, 90.5%, has not been recycled. The enormous amount of plastic buried in landfill forms a geological layer and will exist for thousands of years. Researchers have coined these plastic artefacts ‘technofossils’, deposits of human technology and geological markers of our current era.

Working with clay and saggar firing techniques, I have created a few rocks with a ubiquitous technofossil embedded in it – the plastic, fish-shaped, soy sauce capsule which are manufactured in their billions every year. We use them for a second or two but it is estimated they will last at least 500 years. They are not recycled.

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© 2019 Deirdre Boeyen Carmichael