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“Phossils”: The Future of Art and Technology in a Post-Sapien World

by Alice Riddell on February 15th, 02020

Nathaniel Stern.

Nathaniel Stern’s exhibition “The World After Us: Imaging Techno-Aesthetic Futuresinvites us to fast forward to the future. Stern, a professor of art, design, and engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, started this project as an exploration into the technological eventualities of a post-human world. What happens to our devices when exposed to the ravages of time, to extreme temperatures and pressure, millions of years after we are gone? From “phossils” (fossilized phones) to moldy laptops dangling off walls, this installation aims to initiate conversations about technological waste.

“What will digital media be and do, after us?

What will my laptop, phone, or tablet look like in a million years?

How will our devices weather or grow over time?

What else might our techno-waste be, and how might we sense and feel this?

Where might electronics lead our environmental and economic politics?

Can we plan and act toward new and different futures?”

Nathaniel Stern 

“The exhibition is a timely provocation that will leave viewers contemplating how we might change our ecological trajectory.”

Museum of Wisconsin Art