CRITICAL ACCELERATION, 2017-18
Biological changes occur naturally across Earth’s landscapes. Critical Acceleration aims to contrast natural occurrences with those brought on by human impact, which can further accelerate change. A period known as the ‘Great Acceleration’ signifies the heightening of human activity from the start of the industrial revolution (1750s) to the present – otherwise referred to as the Anthropocene.
As a new media artist working at the intersection of art, science and technology, Gellis explores such issues of human and biological relationships throughout much of my work. Essential to this discussion are two-primary questions: 1) how can emergent artists respond to growing human impacts, in order to promote cohabitation; and 2) how can we be stewards of dialog and change, considering our increasing technophile sensibilities? With ‘Great Acceleration’ is a series of works that explore 2D and 3D, critical, data-visualizations to interpret how the Rocky Mountain West has been altered prior to, and since the beginning of Anthropocene.
Plastics are considered to be the key biomarker for the start of the Anthropocene and their many applications have made them extremely copious and ubiquitous. “Plastics are key to the momentum of the technological revolution from the start of the ‘Great Acceleration’, because of their remarkable utility and versatility. Plastics are relatively easily recognizable, without the need for sophisticated analytical equipment… They may, therefore, be widely effective stratigraphic markers for Anthropocene strata.” (Zalasiewicz, J., et al, 2016, Anthropocene 13, 4-17.)