What is Teleocene?

Some time in the 2010s I became interested in deep history (and deep time), a past which preceded humanity and history as I had studied until then, a time when living organisms barely existed and geology ruled the planet. This interest occurred when many of my colleagues were becoming interested in GIS technology to enhance their works on Ottoman history, and when we were experiencing something I would call a spatial turn. A general rethinking of the past from the perspective of space and geography was taking place.

My contribution to the field of Ottoman history within this context was an essay published 2017 which examined the Ottoman sailors and their perceptions of the geography of the Ottoman Aegean, the islands in particular as found in a 15th century manuscript. 

Meanwhile, the wider scholarship grew more concerned with the global warming, and eventually the term "anthropocene" was introduced to our vocabulary. Along with this new term, there also emerged a debate, and suggestions about disaster economies and economy's role in the global warming (capitolocene) and psychological consequences of the global warming (traumacene). The new terminology tried to capture the human causes of climate change and its consequences, and clearly represented a paradigm shift. I believe this debate enabled us to rethink the depth of our influence on our planet's nature, and how we have altered the formation of the good old rocks.

However, in the discussions of the terminology surrounding anthropocene, I saw something was missing. The emerging human awareness of the geology and geological change was directly influencing our aesthetic choices and it was also influenced by these choices. We were often silent about the transformation of our aesthetics in terms of its relationship to climate change, and we were quiet about the how the climate change was reshaping our aesthetic choices. In other words, I felt that a dialectical component was being ignored. To emphasize this, I invented the term teleocene.

 

Teleocene was first invented to help myself understand what I was trying to say, what I was seeing in a fast transforming geological era from an ontological perspective,. I don't say philosophical here because I am an artist; my work may refer to philosophy, but it is not meant to philosophize in a scholarly fashion. As such, teleocene referred to the general human resolution, helplessness and inertia as we faced near or permanent human extinction. It meant that we started to live in an almost hypnotic state, staring at the nature and the horizon while the earth as we knew was fast slipping through our fingers.

In the state of teleocene, we accept our so called faith, instead of fighting (faithing) ourselves for a better future. In teleocene, we believe in forces that are beyond our control and let them dictate our future even though we know that it was us who built that future.

©2019 Studio Teleocene by Murat Cem Mengüç