1.4 Future Fossils

Design and the deep future, with Alice Twemlow
Collaborative project

Using methods drawn form archaeology, material culture studies and critical design, this project is a speculation on the designed entities that will become human traces in the earth’s geological strata.
The focus is on the correlation between physical and digital degradation of objects and media, and the archaeological (mis)interpretation of the fossils of the future.
It is an exploration of the meaning of concepts like deep time and hyperobjects, through a fictional case study taken from a not so distant future.

What is the life span of a digital file, trapped in the degrading carcass of the USB-stick hosting it, with its plastic case and microchips? What is the process of archaeological restoration of a fossil digital file found inside its rotting, decaying body? What happens when data is misinterpreted through the decoding process?

The outcomes of this project included ceramic objects, written texts, images, soundscapes and a collectively produced publication.
The project was developed within Alice Twemlow’s Design and the Deep Future Lab.

© Alessandro Celli