Tertiary Memory and Nonlinear Landscapes: Monumentalising the ?geologic turn? in contemporary art

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract / Description of output

The landscapes and monuments of the megalithic invoke a distinct remembering of time forgotten. More acutely, these arrangements of standing stones and landscape alignments are arguably temporal technologies with a specific function of memory. They are technical apparatus, recording and anticipating the motion of planets and stars and the passing of years and seasons, complicit with a cyclical and nonlinear deliberation of time. Deploying a mode of what philosopher Bernard Stiegler terms 'tertiary retention', the megalithic structures are prosthesis which inscribe memory upon the landscape, and also inscribe the human a subjectivity of becoming-stellar, invoking a cosmological agency for the human.

In antithesis to the megalithic, the contemporary monument is a temporal device that is linear in condition. The monument or memorial deploys a specific remembering of the past in the present, in order to bear upon the future. These assert specific subjectivities, an ideological function that prescribes the burden of history upon the human witness.

This paper will examine the linear and the nonlinear for the category of the monument. This research will be contextualised by the ?geologic turn? in contemporary art which engage the aesthetics of the Anthropocene through practices in the landscape. In an era where 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 paradigms to manifest futural conditions and post-human ontologies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2018
EventThe Place of Memory and Memory of Place - Birkbeck University, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Jun 2018 → …


ConferenceThe Place of Memory and Memory of Place
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period16/06/18 → …

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • monument
  • landscape
  • Anthropocene
  • geologic turn
  • contemporary art


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