Monuments in the Age of the Anthropocene

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract / Description of output

The year 2021 will be the centenary of the formation of Northern Ireland, an event that anticipates commemoration and the concretion of 100 years of statehood. For a post-conflict society, this is an unresolved and contested history. However, while a common approach to the past is problematic, there is an opportunity to look forward, to make the future-to-come a shared vision. The discourse of monument making concerns temporality. The monument is a temporal object and ideological agent that projects a past through the present to the future. To mitigate the problematic of a contested past is to mitigate the ideological function. While the proposition of the 'counter-monument' (Young 1992) proposes the disruption of the ideological function, this monumental paradigm neglects any account for a future-to-come, other than one contingent on the memory of its own negation. To access the future-to-come non-ideologically, we must look to other paradigms. This paper proposes the category of the 'post-monument', a paradigm for the monument that is structured towards the futural. This research will present contemporary art practices within the 'geologic turn' which engage the space-time aesthetics of the Anthropocene. In an era were the future of the human species is implicated within the present, the discourse of the Anthropocene provides distinct tools to access the future-to-come. The post-monument is a typology of temporal object that can approach temporality at the scales of the Anthropocene, accessing nonlinear space-time aesthetics to manifest futural conditions and post-human ontologies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
EventTroubling Time - University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Jun 20172 Jun 2017


ConferenceTroubling Time
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Anthropocene
  • monuments
  • contemporary art


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