The impact of the digital on the material realm, relates
both to the medium of photography itself and the identity of western European
island nations such as Ireland, Iceland and the UK. Future Fossils is a
photo-documentary research project examining Photography’s relationship to
crisis and contemporary visual culture.
In a globalised world, the material nature of land loses its
relevance somewhat as our methods of communication transcend physical travel /
physical borders. Photography mirrors the condition of our contemporary
material experience in the face of the very real threat (crisis?) of a
disappearing material culture and the emergence of a pixelated, globalised,
technologically conditioned experience.
In ‘Footprints, In search of future fossils’ (2020) David
Farrier offers a compelling analysis of
the ‘the processes that will transform a megacity into a thin layer of
concrete, steel and glass in the strata’. At the heart of Farriers meditation is
inescapable fragility of all human actions / creations. The infrastructure
necessary to support our contemporary communications systems has a vernacular
industrial functionality that disguises its impact on our material relations
with the landscape.
These photo-documents, part event and part text,
offer a record of the arrival of these ‘anonymously designed vernacular
structures’ in our ‘near-field’ landscape.
Contra to contemporary light speed communication, the series is produced by the particular set of operations specific to large format (5x4)
photography - a slow, material approach to image creation that is indebted to
the artists such as Thomas Joshua Cooper, Hilla and Bernd Becher, Donovan
Wylie, Paul Seawright, Willie Doherty, John Duncan, Richard Long.