Tamiko Thiel
Enter the Plastoscene
Augmented reality large screen immersive projections
Tamiko Thiel and /p, 2021

Humans have created a whole new epoch for the denizens of the ocean: the Plastocene. Plastic has become a ubiquitous part of the world's oceans, permeating all layers from the surface down to the darkest depths.

Humans like to consider themselves the Center of Creation, but when it comes to their own plastic creations, they prefer the motto, "Out of sight, out of mind." Since most plastics cannot be recycled, the contents of our overflowing recycling bins are shipped to poorer countries around the world, often being simply dumped into the sea en route or at their final destination. The larger pieces wash up on the beaches or float on the surface in the Great Pacific Trash Vortex. The smaller parts and the degraded micro and nano parts make their way from the North Pole to the South Pole, and down to the ocean floors all over the world.

"Enter the Plastocene" puts people back where they belong: in the middle of the garbage they create, and gives them a sense of what it is like to be surrounded on all sides with garbage. The fish are actually adapting to the Plastocene: astute viewers will note that they actually switch back and forth between piscine and plastic. Viewers who download the "Enter the Plastocene" app onto their own smartphones can guide the schools of fish as they please - but the more they intervene into the ecosystem, the more the fish will turn into plastic waste.

MEET Digital Culture Center Immersive Space, Milan, Italy.

The 15 projectors of the MEET Immersive Room turn Enter the Plastocene into a vast 20m x 10m cavern. Two AR tablets embed visitors into the artwork, a dazzling "underwater" experience of the environment Homo Plasticus is forcing on the denizens of the world's oceans.

Exhibition: 9 - 27 February 2022, curated by Julie Walsh

Enter the Plastoscene
Enter the Plastocene, with Tamiko in the front AR tablets. MEET Digital Culture Center, 2022. Photo: Franceso Prandoni.


Pan of Enter the Plastocene in MEET Digital Culture Center, with /p in the side AR tablet, 2022.