Techne: Evidence in the Anthropocene
Daniel Ryan Small
Best Feature Documentary
Techne: Evidence in the Anthropocene telescopes between galactic and planetary evidence that is presented by scientists and artist-investigators who contemplate both deep time and the fate of the human species. Using the framework of a simulation model developed at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory that considers the probability for intelligent life to occur in the Milky Way galaxy, as well as the potential for self-annihilation; new forms and methods of investigation are highlighted. By moving back and forth between dystopian landscapes, forgotten technologies, legal conditions, and forensic traces a web of interconnected realities emerges through seemingly disparate sets of ideas and research methods. Evidence in the Anthropocene is about an era that is marked by a crisis of imagination and travels with these scientists and artists to explore the lush landscape of a remote Indonesian palm oil plantation; the abandoned ruins of a former nuclear test site in the Bikini Atoll lagoon that now appears as a sub-natural alien megastructure; the concept of the “material witness” in the context of the legal imagination; and gestures towards colonizing other planets and the “cone of imaginable possibilities” by developing weaving prototypes in zero gravity.