What will happen when we are gone?
It is perhaps a macabre, daunting or fantastical thought to contemplate yet is the basis for my Assignment Six Transitions. There is no saying when the human race will die out or indeed if, but only a quick look at the figures show that the world is growing at an expeditious rate, babies are born every second, an average of 350,000 a day according to a UNICEF report. There is no comprehensible way that the planet can sustain such life for long. In an interview with the Big Think, Stephen Hawking discussed his fears for the future of the human race.
“It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn’t have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. Let’s hope we can avoid dropping the basket until we have spread the load.“
A hundred years is not within my lifetime but it certainly may be possible for children I know, my own future children or grandchildren. Will people continue to have many children or will they stop and think of the future they are creating. The world they are preparing for their children?
Steven Hawking argues that we need to look beyond planet earth to sustain this planet, to inhabit other planets in the solar system.
With this in mind, this is why my Assignment will take on a dark note. What will happen when we are gone?
I have placed my Playmobil chalet house in the garden. I ran through possibilities of a plot of land to place the house. It was important that once placed there was to be no intrusion, no controlling the plants that grow, moving anything to make it more aesthetically pleasing. It is to be dealt in a scientific way and indeed, Amber, my science loving sister is working alongside me and we are treating it as a true scientific experiment.
Finding the perfect place.
Preparing the house for it’s new adventure
The ground was uneven so I levelled it out.
All ready for it’s uncertain year ahead.
I chose the corner of the garden where there was little vegetation, that way I could start with a blank canvas to be sure. I relocated a crocus or two to place the house, set up the scene and took my first photo.
This house, surroundings and plants will not be moved, edited or in any way interfered with.
The house is a Playmobil chalet and I’ve placed a table and chair in it. There is a plate on the table as though the owners were going to sit down and eat before something happened. I wanted it to have a Mary Celeste air. The only thing that says something is amiss is the mug knocked over and the doors wide open. I’ve also placed a patio table outside of the house with a radio and bowl.
Obviously, it is a miniature house so there is a certain amount of imagination required when the scale of plants will reveal the true size of the house (I did go down the route of miniature people living in the house but decided to leave it ambiguous instead)
However I was interested in the photo novella, ““Once Upon A Time In Kazimierz
” depicting the life of a Jewish family, staged inside a dolls house using photography. I will review this in the next blog post.
As well as the transitions of the landscape and how nature reclaims the house, I am putting a literary narration on it. I’ve created a separate blog here
written in the first person, it’s set in the future where everyone is gone but just the protagonist (an artist) and her sister (a scientist) are the only ones left and they come across the abandoned house. I will update the blog fortnightly and create a story through that with photos and drawings to make it as real as possible. It’s hard not to be excited about this. My expectations are
- That the house will slowly be choked with vegetation reminiscent of Chernobyl.
- The furniture in the house will either be swept away, trapped inside or will become homes
- Insects and perhaps even mammals will use the place as a safe harbour. Maggots may thrive, spiders will decorate the walls and windows with their deadly art.
- I may have to get a restraining order if Mum discovers mice are living inside the house….
So perhaps not the last one but I think it will still stay true to its purpose and become a home for all sorts of wildlife and vegetation.