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Anthropocene Roundtable

Anthropocene Roundtable

Above Art woven from marine debris Photo: Cameron Muir

The project team held an Anthropocene Roundtable on Friday 24 March. Iain McCalman invited researchers in Sydney working on the subject of the Anthropocene to discuss their work, tell an object story, and review our project.

Looking at an object
The audience is drawn to an object

In the morning we discussed the aims of the ARC funded project led by researchers and curators from the National Museum of Australia, the Sydney Environment Institute (University of Sydney), and the Australian National University. We looked at a draft version of an online gallery that is part of the project. It will feature stories that use objects as a prompt to talk about people’s relationships with their local environment and how they feel about the future. Our book project is another means of inviting collaborations, exploring the ideas that shape the project, and for reflecting on what we have discovered.

Crayweed dress-up!
Crayweed dress-up!

The rest of the day was dedicated to sharing Anthropocene object stories among our group of thirty or so participants. It was run the in the spirit of a poetry slam with each presenter pitching their object in a few minutes. The eclectic collection of objects included a coal briquette, coral cores, stygofauna, crayweed artworks, an albatross egg, a brine shrimp layer, Brent oil field rigs, a chainsaw and thongs.



  • Jilda Andrews, National Museum of Australia
  • Caitilin de Berigny, University of Sydney
  • Paul Donnelly, University of Sydney
  • Ann Elias, Sydney College of the Arts
  • David Farrier, University of Edinburgh
  • Renata Ferrari Legorreta, University of Sydney
  • Will Figueira, University of Sydney
  • Luke Fischer, University of Sydney
  • Laura Fisher, Sydney College of the Arts
  • Prudence Gibson, University of NSW
  • Jennifer Mae Hamilton, University of Sydney
  • Leah Lui-Chivizhe, University of NSW
  • George Main, National Museum of Australia
  • Iain McCalman, University of Sydney
  • Marie McKenzie, University of Sydney
  • Kelly Mitchell, Extrablack
  • Cat Moir, University of Sydney
  • Cameron Muir, University of Sydney
  • Astrid Neimanis, University of Sydney
  • Jenny Newell, Australian Museum
  • Emily O’Gorman, Macquarie University
  • Jude Philp, University of Sydney
  • Libby Robin, Australian National University
  • Martha Sear, National Museum of Australia
  • Jennifer Turpin and Michaelie Crawford, Turpin + Crawford Studio
  • Thom van Dooren, University of NSW
  • Adriana Verges, University of NSW
  • Jody Webster, University of Sydney
  • Josh Wodak, University of NSW
  • Charlotte Wood, University of Sydney