Debuting as part of the Serpentine‘s Extinction Marathon: Visions of the Future in London this weekend, the 47-minute film essay tracks a ‘dubious’ protagonist as she explores paleontology at the heart of the US in relation to the old and new mythologies of the American Frontier. Hurtling ever-ahead toward an ambiguous “manifest destination”, the film is presented as a travelogue and detective story of sorts, tracking a near-future in images, narration and music, driven by eroding fossil fuels, with dinosaurs as emblems of a lost utopia.
“Imagine a yet unknown object just over the horizon, reachable only by car”, proposes the trailer narration as the road unfolds before us, holding the mirage of “the unwieldy object” ahead and at the heart of a colonial capitalist desire to “approach it, appropriate it and reanimate it”.
A critique of the destructive ideological fallacy of actualisation as serving an imperial agenda, ‘The Unwieldy Object’ is set to the backdrop of an unresolved disruption known as the End of History while becoming complicit in its own critique.
It’s a theme that becomes all the more pertinent in the context of EXTINCT.LY and the Extinction Marathon programme, in responding to the monumental global destruction of a technocene era with the very technology it aims to implicate.
See the Serpentine galleries event page for the full programme and more details. **