Future Fossil Spaces

Future Fossil Spaces, Installation view: Musée Cantonale des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2014



​Future Fossil Spaces is part of a global reflection of Julian Charrière on the digital era, and the materials which allow for the advent of a period of ever increasing dematerialization. The fossils mentioned in the title do not refer to traces of animal or plant life found in rocks, but to the Latin etymology of the word, which translates literally as “obtained by digging.” These three works are columns made out of salt bricks from the Salar de Uyuni. This salt flat, the world’s largest, located in the Bolivian Andes, holds one-third of the world’s lithium reserves, and remains largely unexploited – a fact which will probably make it in the next decades the main production site of this element. Lithium is mainly concentrated in brine – water containing a high amount of salt – found under the surface salt bed. Brine is pumped, stocked in settling ponds carved out of the salt crust, where its concentration rises for a year by evaporation, before lithium is harvested. It’s these salt blocks, extracted from the ground to create the basins, that Julian Charrière has transported, cut and piled up to build his totems for the digital era, where lithium, used in the batteries of electronic devices, is a key element. Stacked up, the salt blocks evoke geological layers, and the time needed for the forming of lithium.

Future Fossil Spaces, Installation view: Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London, UK, 2014

Future Fossil Spaces, Installation view: Musée Cantonale des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2014

Future Fossil Spaces, Installation view: Musée Cantonale des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2014

Future Fossil Spaces, Installation view: Musée Cantonale des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2014