Future Fossil Spaces
Future Fossil Spaces is part of a global reflection by Julian Charrière on the digital era and the materials which allow for the advent of a period of ever increasing dematerialization. Utilizing salt and its resulting lithium brine from the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, the artist has created an installation of towering salt-brick columns and lithium vats which oscillate between topography and landscape. Located in the Bolivian Andes, the Salar de Uyuni holds one-third of Earth’s lithium reserves and remains largely unexploited––something which will likely make it the main production site of this increasingly precious element in the next decades as our dependence on lithium-fueled technology exponentially increases. Each brick stacked on top of another resembles the age lines of strata, reminding the viewer of the lengthy geological processes which lead to these resources as juxtaposed against the potential rapid destruction of this environment. The title Future Fossil Spaces refers to future negative spaces that will be carved in the earth by these mining operations, traces of how the digital era will mar the physical which sustains it, effectively demonstrating how the enlargement of the virtual world requires a hollowing-out of the world of natural resources.