A journey with Anne

“What we have, what we may lose and what we have already lost”.

Notes

A JOURNEY WITH ANNE is a 12-minute introductory lesson on the One Planet One Future art project.

The artist brings us to the world’s most remote places to document with her installations and images the disastrous effects of the Anthropocene, our new geological epoch.

Learn FREE with videos and interactive exercises

Lesson introduction

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Anne recounts the origin of her One Planet One Future project and the symbology behind her artistic installations. A tribute to the incredible beauty of our planet but also a cry of alarm against human-caused threats: endangered species, drought and erosion, melting glaciers, pollution and waste.

TimeShrines

Anne stages a symbolic installation in each of her photographs called a TimeShrine to honor and capture the vanishing beauty of our planet. Anne always carries two objects on location that are essential to her TimeShrines; an hourglass, which is the most ancient way of calculating time, as well as a skull or vanity as it used to be called.

Anne draws inspiration from 16th and 17th century vanitas still life art which features the skull as a mystical object to remind us that as mortals, we have choices to make. We can choose between a constructive and positive life, or a superficial, vain life, hence the symbolism of the vanity.

The vanity, the skull is not a symbol of death but a reminder that we should spend the precious time we have on the planet on positive and constructive accomplishments. There is no death in the vanity, just choice. You look at the vanity and you stop wasting your time. It’s one of the most positive symbols ever created.

To complete the TimeShrines Anne incorporates organic elements and found objects, each carefully chosen for its symbolic meaning. While the TimeShrines are the main focus of the image, they are built as much for what surrounds them as for themselves. Each composed image offers a tableau of our time.
The startling appearance of shrines in these images invites us to reflect on where we come from, who we are, and what we want for the future—our one and only future.

TimeShrines speak to our origins, our beliefs, and what we cherish. They connect the past to the present, and what was to what is to come.” 

Art and Science - AREANG 1

PHNOM TAMAO WILDLIFE RESCUE CENTER, CAMBODIA, NOVEMBER 2015

They told me he was not the most beautiful. I chose him because he loved his keeper, Nick Marx the tiger whisperer. Nick didn’t think Areang would collaborate. The Park was big enough that he could easily shy away. The installation fragile enough he could destroy it with the swerve of a paw.  For 30 minutes he became the guardian of the TimeShrine and gifted me with the most incredible collaboration. His eyes stronger than any of my words. All tigers are beautiful. 

TO LEARN MORE 

The Sixth mass extinction is not a future problem. It is happening right now, faster then what was predicted.  Humans have already wiped out hundreds of species and brought many others to the brink of extinction through illegal wildlife trade, pollution, habitat destruction and the use of toxic substances.

Today around 1 million species are threatened with extinction, many have only become so in the last few decades.

More tigers live now in cages than in the wild. They are being farmed, butchered, sold and commoditized.

Art and Science - CONSTELLATION 1

TOBAGO CAYS, CARIBBEAN, OCTOBER 2014

You feel lucky when you run into a starfish. I have always visualized them as solitary celestial creatures. Discovering an entire constellation was like finding a long-lost grail! They came to find protection in this marine park. Beautiful and lonely together. 

TO LEARN MORE 

Because of human-driven increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, there is more CO2 dissolving into the ocean. The ocean’s average pH is now around 8.1, which is basic (or alkaline), but as the ocean continues to absorb more CO2, the pH decreases and the ocean becomes more acidic.

Estimates of future carbon dioxide levels, based on business-as-usual emission scenarios, indicate that by the end of this century the surface waters of the ocean could have a pH around 7.8 The last time the ocean pH was this low was during the middle Miocene, 14-17 million years ago. 

Ocean acidification is currently affecting the entire ocean, including coastal estuaries and waterways. Recent studies show that ocean acidification will affect dramatically marine life and communities that depend on it. 

Art and Science - HIGH ALTITUDE TRASH 1

VIEW OF EVEREST, KHUMBU ICEFALL, LOTHSE, NUPTSE, LHO LA, 5.500 METERS, MAY 27, 2016

I love you Mount Everest and I believe you love me back, you certainly spared me in so many ways. We are biologically programed to love and admire you from a far: at altitudes above 22 000 feet human cells die, that is science not heart, the way nature made us.

During the 12 days of my swift ascent I witnessed people stumbling down from your peak, filled with wonder, shock and sadness. You took so many lives that week.  I followed the trail we ALL leave behind, the trash, the dead bodies, the oxygen tanks, the human waste running against your flanks: frozen landfills of environmental hazards. 

TO LEARN MORE 

Every year, the world generates more than two billion tonnes of trash.  Even against the backdrop of a global pandemic, there is much being bought and sold, things are used and discarded. People tend to forget about the things they have thrown “away”– as though they cease to exist when we are finished using them. But material goods don’t just disappear, their environmental impact lingers.

Dumpsites produce methane as organic waste decomposes – particularly in the absence of oxygen. They are the third-largest source of human-generated methane – a greenhouse gas that is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide and a major accelerator of climate change.

With rapid population growth and urbanization, annual waste generation is expected to increase by 70% in 2050.

Art and Science - SUNSET & BLUE WHALE BONE

ICEBERG, ANTARCTICA, FEBRUARY 2014

The tall ice pillars in the background were connected by a great arch that crumbled during the night. At dusk the next day I scaled the iceberg. I placed the whale bone and the barnacles to recount the endless connections of the circle of life. I watched through my lens the two orphaned pillars, still standing, as the golden light enhanced their solitude and their demise. I did not know that rocks in Antarctica could be so dark.

TO LEARN MORE 

Glaciers cover about 10% of the earth's surface and store about 69% of the world's fresh water.

Most of the world's glacial ice is found in Antarctica and Greenland, but glaciers are found on nearly every continent, even Africa. From the alpine glaciers of Europe to the tropical glaciers of Central Africa and South America, glaciers are melting at an alarming rate.

Human activities are the basis of this phenomenon. In particular, since the industrial revolution, emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have raised temperatures, especially at the poles, and as a result glaciers are rapidly melting, disintegrating at sea and retreating on land.

According to some studies, even if we significantly curb emissions in the coming decades, more than a third of the world’s remaining glaciers will melt before the year 2100.

Art and Science - WITHOUT FLAG

REFUGEE SHRINE, LAMPEDUSA, ITALY, NOVEMBER 2014 

The colors made it different from the usual industrial boat cemeteries, festive colors evoking images of fishing and holidays. On their bows you could still see the painted hands of the child that had blessed it before departure. Several boats still carried the clothing of the ones who didn’t survive the crossing. Their hopes, fears and desperation eternally lingering. 

I returned to Lampedusa in 2019; although forced migration within and from Africa had grown tenfold, the boat cemetery, once the largest in Europe, had completely vanished. 

TO LEARN MORE 

In 2019, more than two billion people lived in water-stressed countries and four billion people experienced water scarcity for at least one month a year.

Water use has been increasing worldwide by about 1% per year in the last four decades. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency by the end of 2019, the number of people forcibly displaced had grown to 79.5 million, the highest number on record according to available data and 40% are under 18 years of age. 

An estimated 1.2 billion people will be at risk of displacement by 2050.

Interconnection and individual action

“One is a circle. The eternal circle, the life cycle, the zero, emptiness, wholeness, fullness, and renewal. The circle also suggests a ripple, the consequences of action."

With the TimeShrines series, Anne wants to emphasize the existence and importance of the interconnection between the various threats posed by the Anthropocene: the smoke from mega fires in California or Siberia can pollute the air on the other side of the planet. A melting glacier in Antarctica increases the risk of rising seas in Italy.

“You toss a bottle on one continent and you find it on a wild beach across the world. it gets eaten by a fish and the fish ends up on your plate.”

The behaviors of people, our behaviors, even if we are scattered in various corners of the world, are strongly connected: the choices we make every day in the cities (for example the consumption of meat) change the life of species such as the polar bear living in the North Pole ... The CO2 emissions from our car end up in the atmosphere and increase the warming of the whole planet ... A saved tree can absorb up to 30 kg of CO2 per year ... The fertilizers used for agriculture on the highlands ends up in rivers and then in the Ocean...

“The world has never been so small. Never have we been so powerful.”  

Each TimeShrine is different but the message of the installation with its symbols, which is repeated in each image, reminds us that each story is linked to another, that there is only one story for the world of tomorrow.

We must learn to invent and innovate starting from the importance of the environment for our survival.

And, with a sense of responsibility, recognize the importance of our choices as individuals and the value of direct action, of commitment in one's community: our room, our property, neighborhood, school, office, city... Everyone at all ages can make a difference. It just depends on our choices.

“We are the circle, sharing one planet, one future.”

Create your TimeShrine

Create your TimeShrine with scrap materials and two symbolic objects that you consider important, take a photo and send it to us at contact@oneplanetonefuture.org

Download our filter from our Instagram page @oneplanetonefuture, create your own TimeShrine, post it and tag us!