Topia daedala explores various forms of manufactured landscape. Taken from two vantage points on both sides of a window, the composite images that make up the series interweave human and nonhuman creativity by overlaying the outer world of cloud formation with the inner space of sculptural arrangement. Remediating the tradition of the sublime as embraced by J.M.W. Turner’s landscape paintings and Ansel Adams’ national park photographs, the series foregrounds the inherent constructedness of what counts as ‘landscape’ and of the conventions of its visual representation. Through this, Topia daedala performs a micro-sublime for the Anthropocene era, a period in which the human has become identified as a geological agent. It also raises questions for the role of plastic — as both construction material and debris — in the age of petrochemical urgency.
The project was developed as a visual track for Joanna Zylinska’s book, Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene, which was recently published by Open Humanities Press under a Creative Commons licence and which is freely available on an open access basis.
See also Anais Tondeur’s recent project on the Anthropocene in Photomediations Machine.
Joanna Zylinska is Professor of New Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London, and the curator of Photomediations Machine. The author of five books on media, art and ethics, she is also a co-editor of the project Living Books about Life, which publishes online books between the humanities and the sciences. She combines her philosophical writings with photographic art practice. In 2013 she was Artistic Director of Transitio_MX05 ‘Biomediations’, the biggest Latin American new media festival, which took place in Mexico City. She is currently writing a book on nonhuman photography.