Arche-fossils and future fossils: the speculative paleontology of Julian Charrière

Barikin, Amelia (2014). Arche-fossils and future fossils: the speculative paleontology of Julian Charrière. In Nicole Schweizer (Ed.), Julian Charrière: future fossil spaces (pp. 18-29) Milan, Italy: Mousse Publishing.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Barikin, Amelia
Title of chapter Arche-fossils and future fossils: the speculative paleontology of Julian Charrière
Title of book Julian Charrière: future fossil spaces
Place of Publication Milan, Italy
Publisher Mousse Publishing
Publication Year 2014
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
ISBN 9788867491063
Editor Nicole Schweizer
Chapter number 63
Start page 18
End page 29
Total pages 12
Total chapters 6
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
"Typically the island inverted the geologists’ maxim, ‘The key to the past lies in the present’. Here, the key to the present lay in the future. This island was a fossil of time future."
J.G. Ballard, 1964.
"What I am really interested in is future archeology. "
Julian Charrière, 2014

There are two kinds of fossils that appear regularly in Julian Charrière’s work. The first insists on the materiality of the non-human, carving out a space for the existence of a world before thought. The second points towards the future and to a geography based on the implosion of time and space. The coalescence of these competing forms hinges on the practice of what Charrière calls ‘future archaeology’. The term is deliberately ambiguous. It could refer either to as-yet undiscovered method for interpreting the material residue of the past (scenario one: current archaeological models progress beyond what is presently imaginable, enabling new possibilities for the future), or alternately to a literal geological excavation of the future (scenario two: a group of time travellers journey to the year 3025 to analyze the materials encountered there). In Charrière’s projects, these contrasting perspectives are often manipulated in a bid to communicate the elasticity of time. As such, his practice might best be described as a kind of ‘speculative paleontology’ – an approach that departs from an archaeological frame to question the increasing relevance of both non-living forms, and non-human time-scales, to the field of contemporary art...
Keyword Contemporary art
Science fiction
Conceptual art
Deep time
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes This book has been published to coincide with the exhibition Julian Charrière: Future Fossil Spaces, Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne Switzerland, October 31-January 11, 2015.

Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: School of Communication and Arts Publications
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Created: Mon, 05 Jan 2015, 22:26:00 EST by Amelia Barikin on behalf of School of Communication and Arts