David Thomas Smith‘s ‘Anthropocene’ photo series will be showing at The Copper House Gallery next week and looks at how global landscapes have been transformed by human action and activity. They are incredibly beautiful pictures that belie their political importance. For Smith has offered us a series of images that are more social commentary, a political stand, a scream about global capitalism and the destruction of the environment through man’s insatiable appetite for product, for oil, precious metals and technological advancement.
Smith has cleverly counterpointed his photo composites by juxtaposing the old with the new, by weaving 1000’s of thumbnail images from Google Maps – which are reconstructed piece by piece using Photoshop – together in a picture that is reminiscent of Persian rug designs. In particular he draws from the Afghan weavers use of the rug to record their experiences with vivid images of the war torn land that surrounds them. This utilisation of ancient and modern only serves to extenuate the issues surrounding the destruction of the natural landscape and our subservience to Capitalism. Here’s what he says about the work:
Composited from thousands of digital files drawn from aerial views taken from internet satellite images, this work reflects upon the complex structures that make up the centres of global capitalism, transforming the aerial landscapes of sites associated with industries such as oil, precious metals, consumer culture information and excess. Thousands of seemingly insignificant coded pieces of information are sown together like knots in a rug to reveal a grander spectacle.
‘Anthropocene’ is on from 21st March – 16th April @ The Copper House Gallery, St Kevin’s Cottages, Synge Street, Dublin 8
As for what Anthropocene means. Well here’s the definition as coined by ecologist Eugene F. Stoermer:
The Anthropocene is an informal geologic chronological term that serves to mark the evidence and extent of human activities that have had a significant global impact on the Earth’s ecosystems.