Project | Colors of The Anthropocene

In the age of the Anthropocene – the era defined by the enduring wounds humanity has left on the geological surface of our planet – our fingerprint is ingrained in the strata. The artist creates pigments of color by collecting bio and geo material from sites of the Anthropocene. These sites include wounded lands (such as mines or sites of pollution) as well as untouched lands or places of resistance (such as indigenous lands or regenerative agriculture).

“Sedimentary politics of the Anthropocene” are collected and archived with the pigments: stories and histories of the different peoples that populate, are affected by, resist to, or are involved in the creation of these sites: Miners, farmers, indigenous peoples, neighbors of polluting sites, homeless, etc. This is done in form of oral histories and photographic and video documentation.

These materials are assembled in an archive of “Colors of the Anthropocene”. Pigments, sites and peoples are all sedimented into the archived materials (oral histories, video and photography and pigments). This archive exhibits pigments and sedimentary politics by creating “Narrative Terrains”: mixed-media artwork created from pigments, oral histories and photographic and video material.

Narrative Terrains are created in the material and digital archive of pigments, color and sedimentary politics, their use in artwork, and their exhibition. This project has three end-products:

  1. The creation and archiving of pigments as well as the stories of peoples and places
  2. Making available the archive materially and digitally as open-source
  3. The creation of mixed-media artwork to exhibit the archive

Though an on-going project, the final art form(s) that will emerge from this project will encompass :

Pigment Archive –

Samples of collected pigments in various forms (raw material, powdered) from around the globe, displayed in glass vials and scientifically cataloged

Displays accompanying pigments of juxtaposing descriptions of Extractive Knowledge ( mineral elements, data on market values, chemical compositions, toxicity, industrial uses, etc.) vs. Native Knowledge ( spiritual and symbolic associations with the material, ritual uses for the material, health/bodily uses of the material, etc.)

Stories and first hand accounts from citizen foragers describing the landscapes samples were collected from, their relation to the land and marked changes during their lifetime, personal and ancestral uses of collected material, cultural and community importance of the material

Documentation –

Photographs and video of people and places during foraging excursions – visually documenting the source and culture surrounding collected materials.

Process photographs of the foraging, and processing of earth pigments and inks

Personal journal accounts during the corse of the project

Researched historical content on : land use (personal/community/industrial), historical uses of color in the site specific places of collection, and indigenous vs. industrial uses of collected materials.

Mono-prints & Color Charts –

Monoprints: one of a kind abstract prints, organically formed by the pigments in paint or ink form and hand embellished with details that reflect personal attributes to the site specific locale of collected materials used in the print.

Color Charts: color wheels or charts of collected colors representing site specific collections of local color with accompanying information of mineral/chemical data.

Presentations/Interactive Elements –

Presentations: Scheduled session with indigenous peoples from site specific areas of color collection to further enhance and make visible the importance of Native Knowledge, sharing stories and reconnecting to the land.

Interactive Elements: Station at the end of the exhibit where viewers can create there own work of art with pre-prepared paints and inks, and share a story with their work of art that then becomes part of the exhibit, and is shared and archived as part of the project.



Artistic: The project encourage artists to use self-sourced material reflexively, developing new levels of intimacy to the artistic process. Information, materials, methods… will be shared online and in workshops.

Intellectual: Open-access to the archive for scientific research, artistic projects and community actions, contributes to research on the Anthropocene.

Communal: It emphasizes indigenous/generative knowledges, reconnects communities to earth through their own knowledges, and encourages environmental stewardship, building community capacities.

Social: The project creates awareness of social issues dredged up by industrial colonialism, and the human interference with the land while emphasizing the validity and importance of local knowledges.