‘The Plantationocene Monument’ and the legacy of industrial agricultural systems

‘The Plantationocene Monument’ and the legacy of industrial agricultural systems

We are happy to announce that the short text “The Plantationocene Monument” has been included in The New Echological Epoch, the ecoartspace online exhibition and printed book 2023, with Mary Mattingly as juror. It will be launched October 1, 2023.

This piece of eco fiction stems from research and field visits to an existing, artificial island outside the city of Landskrona in Sweden, called Gipsön – the Gypsum Island. The text departs from the artistic act of declaring the island a Plantationocene monument, which (p)Art of the Biomass did as part of the project “Gipsön – post-industrial monuments and social sculptures” (2021). We then had the pleasure of co-creating this piece of fiction in collaborative writing sessions with Dr. Eléonore Fauré, a researcher exploring just and sustainable futures.

The text is one of many outputs of our long-term work and visits to the Gypsum Island. We are working on a film, “To Wash an Island”, which has been presented as a work-in-progress at exhibitions, seminars and the upcoming Climate Existence Conferences in Sigtuna, Sweden. An earlier version of the text was written for the fictive travel guide “A Guide to Zero-Carbon Skåne”, part of the Climaginaries research project at Lund University, Sweden, on invitation from Fauré.

Through declaring the island a Plantationocene monument, we wish to attend to a naturalcultural heritage that bears witness, as suggested by Donna Haraway and Anna Tsing, to the agro-industrial impact and colonial and exploitative legacy that radically have shaped lands, societies, and communities. While grounded in historical and current events, our fabulation is an attempt to collectively imagining im/possible futures where this toxic deposit has become a ceremonial site for grief and reconnection. What does it ask us to remember? What kind of practices, imaginaries and even ceremonies might it inspire for the future? 

ecoartspace has served as a platform for artists addressing environmental issues since 1999. Members include artists, scientists, professionals, students, and advocates sharing resources and supporting each other’s work.