The Earth has passed through the Holocene epoch, the Quaternary period, the Cenozoic era, and the Phanerozoic era. Currently, we exist in the Anthropocene—a geological period of time in which human activity exerts the greatest influence on the environment and climate.
The Jackman Humanities Institute, located on the St. George campus, has chosen to focus its current art exhibition on the Anthropocene. Every year, the Jackman Humanities Institute centres their exhibition on a different research theme. “Time, Rhythm and Pace” is the title of the 2016-17 theme. All This Time showcases a variety of geologic samples and texts geared towards an artistic platform. The exhibition features work by Carl Beam, Eric Cameron, Kelly Jazvac, Faith La Rocque, Micah Lexier, Ken Nicol, and Tamiko Thiel.
The idea of time is an integral feature to this exhibition. Humanity manages time into understandable fragments. We label these periods—Eons, Eras, Periods, Epochs, and Ages—to better understand the Earth’s history.
Curated by Jaclyn Quaresma, All This Time conveys humanity’s interaction with time. The exhibition presents relics and installations that represent Deep Time – a time frame that dates the Earth to approximately 4.55 billion years old using radiometric dating on geological samples. All This Time reflects the Anthropocene’s role in geological changes throughout time.
One piece that attracted my attention was “Water Lily Invasion” by Tamiko Thiel. This is an augmented reality piece, meaning it enhances the real world with digital imagery. Viewers can witness these images through a mobile app when they target their phone towards their surroundings. Thiel’s piece uses the image of water lilies. As the global climate shifts towards warmer temperatures, water levels are rising, and plants and animals must evolve alongside these changes. Thiel’s piece demonstrates plant mutation to the extreme, as the image of abnormally large water lilies invade everyday spaces.
Thiel’s piece exemplifies humanity’s impact on the environment. Our actions force species to adapt alongside anthropogenic changes. “Water Lily Invasion” is one of many pieces on display that express humanity’s effect on geological time and space.
All This Time is on display at the Jackman Humanities Institute until June 30.