Heritage as Critical Anthropocene Method

Sterling, Colin. 2020. Heritage as Critical Anthropocene Method. In: R. Harrison and C. Sterling (eds.) Deterritorializing the Future: Heritage in, of and after the Anthropocene. London: Open Humanities Press, 188-218

I worry that we’ve already swallowed the idea of the Anthropocene and stopped considering the importance of it; the profound shock that it should cause has already been diffused into just one more idea game that we play.

– Kim Stanley Robinson 2017

First presented at the Art in the Anthropocene conference in Dublin, this chapter examines the use of different heritage tropes (the museum, the ruin, the monument) in unravelling the Anthropocene concept. Looking variously at the work of Tomás Saraceno, the Museum of Capitalism, and the Museum of Nonhumanity, and at concepts drawn from Claire Colebrook, Anna Tsing and Bronislaw Szerszynski, the essay argues that ‘heritage’ can itself be framed as a methodology for critical Anthropocene thinking.

Available to download open access from Open Humanities Press.