Anthropocene

Anthropocene describes the time when humans have had a substantial impact on our planet, explaining in periods of time when human activity have had influences on the climate and environment.

Some people think the impact made by humans is in close relation to climate change. However a key factor of Anthropocene, is showing awareness of the current state of the planet and how our reactions are influenced by this.

We think of Anthropocene linking to us globally, meaning the planet is one big system that surrounds us in different ways, such as in ecosystems, urban/ industrial or geological/ naturally. Photographers have captured this in abstract ways showing unique compositions and forms, that are found naturally or in the industry, but also showing a close relation to science. This could mean how the industry is impacting the environment through pollution. Looking at what it used to look like compared to how it looks now.

The Land and us Exhibition

The land and us is an exhibition located at Capital house, and is a collaboration between ArtHouse Jersey, artists: Alexander Mourant, Remi Graves, Alice Burnhope, Hannah Fletcher and Sam Carvosso, as well as local organisations such as EYECAN Jersey, Dementia Jersey, Youthful Minds and L’Office du Jèrriais.

The Exhibition’s focus is on the need to reconnect with jersey’s natural word and consists of photography, poetry, sculptures, art and textiles.

Photos from the exhibition

Overall I enjoyed the exhibition and liked the sculptures they had as I thought that they were very creative and the detail was interesting. I also liked the way they included Jèrriais at the exhibition as it is a good way to help preserve the language.

Anthropocene

Mood board

What is Anthropocene ?

Anthropocene is the impact humans have had on the world these are things such as pollution and overpopulation and using up the worlds resources until there is very little left for everyone else. People have been so emerged in social media.

What inspired Anthropocene ?

Anthropocene was believed to have started in the 18th century at the start of Britain’s industrial Revolution which created the first fossil fuel economy. Burning the organic carbon in fossil fuels enabled large scale production and drove the growth of mines, factories and mills.

What’s the importance of Anthropocene ?

Humans have become the most influential species on the planet, causing significant global warming and other changes to land the environment and water, and overall effecting the atmosphere .

Image Analysis

This lines in this image from where the truck has dug paths in the soil act as leading lines to point your eye in the direction of the focal point being the truck in the middle of the image. The lighting in this image has a lot of shadow from the sunlight from the end of the tunnel which creates contrast between the areas in the tunnel that have no sunlight reflecting on them and the areas in the tunnel that do have sunlight reflecting on them. The lighting on the truck also makes the focal point stand out more and directs your eye more clearer to the truck. This image shows the damage being done to the world and how humans are draining the world of its recourses and if the world runs out of its recourses then there will be no more in the future when the worlds population will have increased more leading to bigger and more complicated problems. The composition of this image is balanced between the shadows and the lighting coming from the entrance of the tunnel. The background in this image is large scale which almost shows just how big of an impact humans have had on the world and just how large the problems that we have caused have become and how much larger they will get if something is not done about the pollution of the world.

What I’m going to do for my Anthropocene Photoshoot ?

I’m going to do my Anthropocene Photoshoot on light pollution and how the amount of light that is admitted has an effect on the atmosphere. My Photoshoot is going to be on the light from buildings and from streetlights and I’m also going to use artificial lights like torches to help give more light to my photo. I’m going to use a tripod to get clear pictures and so that I can get the angles for the photos right for example if I’m photographing a multi layered car park and the lighting from it is only reflecting in one area the camera will need to be still to try and get that photo right. I’m also going to get images of buildings with lights reflecting from them and the different lights that they admit into the atmosphere. I’m going to go all around town and around the waterfront to get these images as the most amount of light pollution will be around town and amongst the buildings and the businesses that are around town. Another idea I had was to take pictures of cars when they are driving to photograph the headlights and the brake lights to show how much light they admit at night and the amount of gas emissions that come out of the exhaust.

Anthropocene –

Anthropocene is the type of photographs where the idea of climate change and the effects that the human race have had on the world due to negative habits are shown through the use of photos.

Anthropocene photographers focus on issues that are noticed all through the world such as ;

  • Climate change
  • Pollution (plastics and non-recyclable materials )
  • Over crowding and over population
  • Global warming

The Anthropocene photos taken by these photographers, are usually very moving and frankly quite unnerving because of the raw unfiltered reality that is shown through them. They usually include quite disturbing images, while not usually graphic the connotations that come through the photos can struck fear into anyone and really show the harsh reality we live in.

While people may view that these photos are solving the problems that we face I believe that all they do is spread awareness, yes that can play a massive part in solving these problems but in the long run, it does nothing. While these photographers are raving about the problems throughout the world, they still have shows and exhibitions to show their work and would be using non-recyclable materials to hang and showcase their work so in the long run, they feed the problem more then solve it.

For my first few photo shoots, I will be focusing on more of the pollution and overcrowding issues since they are the most relatable here in Jersey.

For the first photo shoot I can focus on litter and pollution on beaches and since there are a few beaches near town, the pollution can get really bad during certain times of the week.

For the second photo shoot i can focus on overcrowding throughout central St Helier during busy weekends. Since the population numbers in Jersey are quite large for the size of the small island, it would be easy to capture the busyness and crowding throughout day to day life.

Anthropocene

The Anthropocene Project is a multidisciplinary body of work combining fine art photography, film, virtual reality, augmented reality, and scientific research to investigate human influence on the state, dynamic, and future of the Earth.

The Anthropocene Epoch is when human activity started to have a significant impact on the planet’s climate and ecosystems using a unit of geologic time, used to describe the most recent period in Earth’s history. So, basically when humans had an effect on the earth’s nature and shows the negative impact humans had on it.

Some issues explored in Anthropocene photography are that it mainly focuses on humanity which believes that humans are responsible for everything that happened towards nature and the environment, such as fossil fuels making the air more polluted which is worse for our lungs and animals. Another example would be how much plastic there is in the sea which is due to humans littering and it ending up in the sea, then fish, birds and other sea animals would end up eating this plastic we deposited and then would end up dying and/or when we catch the fish and cut them up to eat, we can see all the plastic they have eaten in their body.

Are the Photos Beautiful?

Some of the photos we see from Anthropocene photographers are very stunning to look at ascetically of the big distances or landmarks like mountain ranges or fields/rivers. But, a lot of the photos they take are not helping the bad ecosystems or climate change, but they are spreading awareness for other people to react and start fixing the world.

Robert Adams, artist evaluation –

Robert Adams was an American photographer born may 8th 1937. He focused on the changing landscape of the American west and his work first came to light in the mid 1970’s through his book ‘The new west’.

He lived in multiple places throughout his life but was born in Orange, New Jersey. Later in his life he moved to Colorado and in 1963, Adams bought a 35mm camera and began to take pictures mostly of nature and architecture. He learned photographic technique from Myron Wood, a professional photographer who lived in Colorado. Adams began to photograph in 1964 but did not start working as a full time photographer until 1970.

Some of his work –

As you can see, Robert leant a lot into the Topographic movement of photography, focusing on natural landscapes and how the man made structures, buildings and industrial estates affected them. His most famous being the first photo ( caravan park ).

Anthropocene Research

What is Anthropocene?

Anthropocene simply describes the time where humans had a substantial impact on the earth. The effects of human activities on Earth can be seen for example in biodiversity loss and climate change. Many people would link this with the effects of climate change as the warming of our atmosphere, air and oceans caused by using fossil fuels which are created by humans. However, it is not just this. It also focusses on the effects on the Earth’s geology, landscape, climate, limnology and ecosystems. Carbon dioxide emissions, global warming, ocean acidification, habitat destruction, extinction and widescale natural resource extraction are all signs that we have significantly modified our planet.

An early concept for the Anthropocene was the Noosphere by Vladimir Vernadsky, who in 1938 wrote of “scientific thought as a geological force”

Many people believe Anthropocene came about at different times of the human life. many people think that it began at the start of Britain’s Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century which then started the world’s first fossil fuel economy. However, other people believe it came out far earlier, when humans began to farm. Even more people suggest it dawned in 1950 when nuclear weapons projected radioactive elements into the worlds atmosphere, affecting the nature as well.

Plastic could become a key marker of Anthropocene. The earth is filled with plastic and plastic can be used for many things. since plastic is not biodegradable, it means it ends up littering soils and oceans beds. There is already evidence that suggests that plastic pollution has already made its way into fossil record. as well as this, a 2019 study showed that plastic deposits have been rising since the 1940s. Overall, plastic pollution is a vert large factor that contributes to the problems of the earth and scientists are studying to find out if it is a golden spike and a signifier to Anthropocene.

How and why are photographers exploring Anthropocene?

As photography is known for sharing beauties of the planet and where we live, it is a very popular topic that many people enjoy to observe or even be a part of. Due to it being interesting to many, it can also act as a factor that can project awareness onto others by displaying it in a way people would be drawn to and enjoy. Using photography for a subject such as Anthropocene will have a great impact on the way people view the effects of pollution and climate change as photography has a way of zooming in on small detailed factors as well as the larger picture of things. This may urge people to do things different even if its a small amount everyone collectively does as photography will make people notice the brutal impact we have on our planet.

HDP Photo walk

Contact Sheet:

I chose my favourite images that I took at Harve Des Par flagged them and then highlighted green the ones I wanted to edit.

This image is of Harve Des Par is a lamp post with the pool in the background. This image was originally in colour but I changed it to black and white. It was a cloudy day when this photo was taken so the lighting was adjusted using the camera settings. The lamp post looks misplaced in the image as the settings around doesn’t match it making it look outlandish and singular. I turned up the texture, clarity and dehaze for detail and depth in the image

This image is of the flats and houses at La Colette. For this picture I angled the camera towards the flats with some more flats and houses towards the front half of the image. On the houses there is a Harve Des Par sign. I like this in the image as it shows the location where the image was taken and adds detail to the image. I changed the original image to black and white and turned down the temperature and tint for a colder image. I turned the exposure and contrast up for more dimension and turned up texture and clarity for more detail in the buildings.

Artist Reference- Peter Mitchell

Peter Mitchell (born 1943) is a British documentary photographer, known for documenting Leeds and the surrounding area for more than 40 years. Mitchell’s photographs have been published in three monographs of his own. His work was exhibited at Impressions Gallery in 1979, and nearly thirty years later was included in major survey exhibitions throughout the UK including at Tate Britain and Media Space in London, and the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford. Mitchell’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Royal Photographic Society and Leeds Art Gallery.

MOODBOARD

In 1979 Impressions Gallery showed his work A New Refutation of the Viking 4 Space Mission, the pictures showed the traditional urban landscape presented on a background of space charts, the concept being that an alien has landed from Mars and is wandering around Leeds with a degree of surprise and puzzle. Martin Parr described this show as ground-breaking.

Martin Parr is a British documentary photographer, photojournalist and photobook collector. He is known for his photographic projects that take an intimate, satirical and anthropological look at aspects of modern life, in particular documenting the social classes of England, and more broadly the wealth of the Western world.

About & Lifestyle

Peter Mitchell was born in Eccles, near Manchester, in 1943. Shortly afterwards his family moved to Catford, south-east London, where Mitchell spent his formative years. Even in his youth mitchell was a keen collector and diarist, beginning the archive that would later form part of his autobiographical publication Some Thing Means Everything to Somebody.

Leaving school at 16, Mitchell moved to Hampstead heath and began training as a cartographic draughtsman with the civil service where he learned to make architectural maps and drawings, an interest he has maintained, most notably in the self-published Memento Mori.

By 24, Mitchell was seeking new challenges and won at place at Hornsea College of Art where his interest in photography and typography developed.

Peter’s first solo exhibition of 1975, entitled An Impression of the Yorkshire City of Leeds, was funded by the Yorkshire Arts Association and Arts Council of Great Britain formed a part of Leeds’ contribution to the European Architectural year.

It was a success, with the curator encouraging Mitchell to focus on his photography over his screen-printing practice. The 1970s was a key time for photography in Britain, seeing photographers such as Martin Parr and Tom Wood rise to prominence, and Mitchell’s practice was bouyed by this national cultural interest.

Mitchell’s work stayed local to Leeds, and during this time he began the long term project on the city which would become A New Refutation of the Viking 4 Space Mission.

He would walk everywhere, taking note of the places he passed, returning later with his camera, ladder and tripod to photograph them.

These walks regularly took him through the Quarry Hill estate in the centre of Leeds, but he had never photographed it, until the first signs of demolition appeared. The demolition of the ill-fated development provided Mitchell with the perfect subject matter to explore his interest in urban regeneration against the backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain.

The redevelopment of Leeds progressed at a lightning pace in this period, Mitchell would photograph a shop front or row of houses one week, only for them to disappear the next.

Mitchell’s work remained resolutely personal, seeking out the people and places of local interest rather than seeking to reveal any great and gritty truth of 1980s British life to a wider audience.

My Analysis

As shown, Mitchell photographs everyday factors you see in the city e.g Leeds and Manchester. This is quite unusual from an outsiders perspective as most photographers are ultimately famous for taking ‘ aesthetically pleasing’ or ‘ beautiful’ according to the human eye, however Mitchell does not glamourize the reality and viewers seem to like it. Each image is differentiated through a variety of themes, however they all portray an old, vintage aesthetic. This is in an interesting and significant factor as by first look you assume that they are not edited which creates a realistic factor to it as well as the vintage aesthetic. This makes you question, what is making it give off this aesthetic. In my opinion, it is the images of the brick buildings and old looking churches through the surroundings and the state it is in. The reason of this, is in this generation the world is becoming more modern day by day. This links to this image.

As shown, Mitchell photographed this brick building with a more modernized and larger building behind it to create contrast. This shows the change in human activity and trends which ultimately relates to the Anthropocene and Robert Adams in the way of contrasting two large factors to one another.

In each image he does not edit the images such as the weather to glamorize it. Within his images, he is using photography to photograph the normality and reality of his lifestyle and possibly even old images to create archives of around the city to then compare and forecast future trends and see how much human activity can impact the earth, such as these images.

Clearly, the typical cinema has changed and become modernized through generations and I assume these houses could be getting taken down possibly for new things. Although people may be living there which creates a sense of inhumanity which significantly links to the Anthropocene as Mitchell is using photography to express the inhumanity on earth and how it is increasing. This links in a different way through how humans leave a large carbon footprint causing climate change but humans doing little about it which could be a sense of inhumane.

MY PHOTOSHOOT PLAN

My plan to relate my work to the Anthropocene and Peter Mitchell is to take images of everyday scenes such as shops and even the cinema. My intention and aim to make some images look old and vintage and compare it to more modernized things such as the typical cinema nowadays and buildings.

Anthropocene

What is anthropocene?

The Anthropocene is a proposed geological epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on Earth until now. It affects Earth’s geology, landscape, limnology, ecosystems and climate. The Anthropocene Epoch is an unofficial unit of geologic time, used to describe the most recent period in Earth’s history when human activity started to have a significant impact on the planet’s climate and ecosystems.

Mood Board:

The word Anthropocene comes from the Greek terms for human (‘anthropo’) and new (‘cene’), but its definition is controversial. It was coined in the 1980s, then popularised in 2000 by atmospheric chemist Paul J Crutzen and diatom researcher Eugene F Stoermer. The Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old while humans have been here for a much smaller scale, yet irreversible influence has taken place on biodiversity and nature, fundamentally altering the Earth’s physical, chemical and biological code. In the last 60 years, the Great Acceleration has began. This is a term used for the increasing rate at which human impacts are unfolding at an unprecedented scale and speed, causing the globe to deteriorate and become more modified, spiralling downwards. Being the most influential species of the planet, human behaviour has created a snowball effect of significant impacts not only for other ecosystems or species but ourselves too. Just a few of these are:

  • Extinction
  • Habitat destruction
  • An increase in extremeness and frequency of severe weather conditions e.g earthquakes, tornados and storms
  • Carbon dioxide emissions
  • Global warming
  • Ocean acidification

To accelerated and irreversible global warming, the Anthropocene may coincide with the rise of the modern environmental movement, as a new geological age that has displaced the Holocene of the last 10,000 to 12,000 years. Human beings have become an emerging geological force that affects the future of the Earth.
The dramatic changes in the correspondence of humans and the environment. Beginning with the Industrial Revolution, the late 1940s and early 1950s, the strong impact of Contemporary Society, the rise of capitalism, the colonization of the world, and the era of fossil fuels. The geologist, Thomas Jenkyn spoke of anthropozoic rocks, the geologist Pavlov used it to refer to a new geological period in which humanity was the main cause of planetary geological change, later Paul Crutzen (Nobel Prize in Chemistry) gave popularity to the term Anthropocene.

Just over twenty years ago, scientists introduced a term to denote a new geological epoch in which human activity has had a marked impact on the global climate: the Anthropocene. Since that time, the concept of the Anthropocene has been exposed to a wider public audience through expanding environmental studies and scholarship, increasing coverage in the popular press, widespread and fervent activism, and a variety of artistic responses. Second Nature: Photography in the Age of the Anthropocene is the first major exhibition to examine the Anthropocene through the lens of contemporary photography. Comprised of 45 photo-based artists working in a variety of artistic methods from studios and sites across the globe, Second Nature explores the complexities of this proposed new age.

Since it’s emergence, the term Anthropocene been adopted by disciplines outside of the sciences including philosophy, economics, sociology, geography, and anthropology, effectively linking the Anthropocene to nearly every aspect of post-industrial life. Organized around four thematic sections, “Reconfiguring Nature,” “Toxic Sublime,” “Inhumane Geographies,” and “Envisioning Tomorrow,” the exhibition proposes that the Anthropocene is not one singular narrative, but rather a diverse and complex web of relationships between and among humanity, industry, and ecology.

Ultimately, the theme of Anthropocene also links to the project of Poaches hunting down elephants and killing them as easy access to their tusks. Elephant’s tusks are burnt for the pure purpose of Ivory, which comes from the tusks and is considered very valuable. Because of the high price of ivory, poachers illegally sell their tusks. Tens of thousands of elephants are killed each year for their tusks, and as a result, elephant populations have declined rapidly.