Maarten Vanden Eynde

Technofossils

2015
Sculpted malachite rocks, variable sizes.

As humans have colonised and modified the Earth’s surface, they have developed progressively more sophisticated tools and technologies. These underpin a new kind of stratigraphy, that is termed ‘technostratigraphy’ by Jan Zalasiewicz (Chair of the Anthropocene Working Group of the International Commission on Stratigraphy), marked by the geologically accelerated evolution and diversification of ‘technofossils’ – the preservable material remains of the ‘technosphere’.

Almost all electrical appliances are made with electronic circuit boards that all have copper wiring, which in many cases is coming from copper mines in D.R. Congo. Most workers in the mines (les creuseurs) don't know themselves what the materials they are extracting are used for. The promising global knowledge distribution, made possible thanks to computers and smart phones, in connection with Internet, did not make it back to it's point of departure. The gap between the beginning and the end, between cause and consequence, is unbelievably big.

Technofossil brings both worlds closer together by sculpting the telephones directly in to the rocks, as if they were always there and were waiting to be discovered or liberated. For the 4# Lumbumbashi Biennial in D.R. Congo I made a presentation in collaboration with the painter Musasa, who transferred educational drawings of the use of malachite and copper on panels who were integrated in the existing displays of the geological and archaeological department of the National Museum in Lubumbashi.