What is Teleocene?

Some time in the 2010s I became interested in deep history and deep time, a the past which preceded humanity and history which I have studied for decades, a time in which living organisms barely existed and geology was the real lead. This interest occurred at a period when many colleagues started to use GIS technology to enhance their works on Ottoman history, and when almost everyone experienced what came to be known as the spatial turn; spatial turn meant rethinking of the past from the perspective of space and geography.


My contribution to the field in this respect was an essay published 2017 which examined Ottoman sailors and their perceptions of the geography of the Ottoman Aegean, islands in particular through witness accounts as represented in a 15th century manuscript. 

In the wider world, people were more and more concerned with the global warming, and the term "anthropocene" had started to appear. Along with anthropocene, there also came a debate on terminology, suggestions about disaster economies and economy's role in the global warming (capitolocene) and psychological consequences of the global warming (traumacene). All these terms tried to capture the human causes of climate change and its consequences. They all represented a paradigm shift which started to enable us to rethink the depth of our influence on our planet, and how we have altered not just its air, water but also the formation of its crust itself, the good old rocks.

In the discussions of the terminology I saw something was missing. The emerging human awareness of the geological change was being directly influenced by our aesthetic perception of the Earth. Yet, we were often silent about the transformation of this aesthetics itself in relation to climate change. A dialectical component was being ignored. So, I invented the term teleocene to help myself understand what I was trying to say, what I was seeing in an era of new changing aesthetics. Teleocene refers to the general human resolution, helplessness and inertia in the face of almost guaranteed extinction. It means that we live in an almost hypnotic state in which we stare at the nature and the horizon while the earth as we used to know slowly slips through our fingers.

In teleocene, once again we accept our faith instead of fighting to build a future that is better. In teleocene, we believe forces beyond our control dictate our fate even though we know that it was us who built that fate.

©2019 Studio Teleocene by Murat Cem Mengüç