Our current period is obscene because there are troubling political and ethical dimensions to mining the materials that organize technics. Mineral politics are bloody and violent, part of a neocolonial project that puts child labor and human trafficking in its service. There are wars over copper mines. Digital culture has “environmentally disastrous consequences,” as well; consider the rapacity of non-renewable energy production.
The use of anthropocene as a base for this neologism is important, as the word can:
demonstrate that geology does not refer exclusively to the ground under our feet. It is constitutive of social and technological relations as well as environmental and ecological realities. Geology is de-territorialized in the concrete ways in which metal and minerals become mobile…
There are two major speculative meditations in this essay: the first on the earth, and how its layered riches produce media, and the second on deep time.