The New Normal
Updated: Jul 31, 2020
In the 1980s, travellers returning from the east, the far east, would relate stories of seeing not-very-old TVs and hi-fis in working condition put out with the rubbish in Japan. Consumer electronics were being upgraded and remodelled so fast that, in a society apparently wealthy enough to do so, last year's model could be thrown away and replaced with the new. From archaeological finds to microplastics, the human presence on the planet can be measured and characterised by what it discards. Burying time capsules as a message in a bottle to be discovered and marvelled at in thousands of years' time is redundant – we already create the archaeology for the future in an everyday casual way just by chucking stuff out.