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Deep Time, a new multi-screen work by Melanie Gilligan and Tom Ackers, blends fiction, animation, and documentary to investigate the complex relationships between systemic phenomena created by humans (such as global warming, ocean chemistry change, and capitalism) and ocean ecosystems, the often-forgotten foundation of life on this planet. The work explores various economic practices that see the natural “wealth” of physical processes through the logic of finance. The symbiosis between human culture and the natural world is shown to be broken, with capitalist development eating away at its own material base. [1]

Immerse yourself in Deep Time, a video project on the broken relationship between human culture and the natural world (…) installations, including seven new commissions from Canadian and international artists, provoke a fascinating conversation about landscape and culture. [2]


[1]     “What Does Culture Have to Do with Climate Change? Everything.” Cape Farewell, October 2013. https://capefarewell.com/downloads/Carbon14_Program_Guide.pdf.

[2]     “Where.” Where: Canada’s Travel Planner. Accessed January 5, 2021. https://where.ca/ontario/toronto/carbon-14-climate-is-culture-at-the-royal-ontario-museum/.

Additional Information

Sykes, Kait. “Carbon 14: Climate Is Culture.” Royal Ontario Museum. Accessed January 5, 2021. https://www.rom.on.ca/en/exhibitions-galleries/exhibitions/carbon-14-climate-is-culture.

“Melanie Gilligan and Tom Ackers.” Melanie Gilligan & Tom Ackers – Cape Farewell – The cultural response to climate change. Accessed January 5, 2021. https://capefarewell.com/who-we-are/creatives/808-melanie-and-tom.html.

“Carbon 14: Climate Is Culture Exhibition, Royal Ontario Museum.” Aesthetica Magazine. Accessed January 5, 2021. https://aestheticamagazine.com/carbon-14-climate-culture-exhibition-royal-ontario-museum/.

Lundh, Aileen Burns and Johan, View recent articles by Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh, Yaniya Lee, Lindsay Nixon, Chiedza Pasipanodya, Francisco-Fernando Granados, and Chelsea Rozansky. “Melanie Gilligan on Commerce, Climate Change & More.” Canadian Art. Accessed January 5, 2021. https://canadianart.ca/interviews/qa-melanie-gilligan-on-credit-crises-climate-change-more/.

Project Title: Deep Time – Carbon 14: Climate is Culture
Tom Ackers
Melanie Gilligan
Royal Ontario Museum
Toronto, ON

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