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ANON-UMENT [anonymous monument]

Part 2 Project 2014
Christopher Brown
Northumbria University Newcastle upon Tyne UK
Situated close to the Mesolithic settlement of Star Carr, North Yorkshire, ‘ANON-UMENT’ is designed to exist on two timescales.

ANON-UMENT will change the way in which the landscape of the Flixton Basin is used. The current unsustainable, arable farming techniques, for growing potatoes and farming sheep rely on large scale agricultural drainage releasing trapped CO2 from the peat and acidifying the soil. The proposal suggests instead an economic model for sympathetic agriculture, restoring the peat-bog’ environment through an intensification of existing land management schemes (Carrs Wetland Project) and the introduction of a surrogate species (Mediterranean dairy water buffalo). Observing this landscape evolution is an environmental monitoring facility, including a lysimeter station and flux tower, to be used by the University of York.

ANON-UMENT also addresses the centuries of human history on this site, depositing a new permanent artefact for the Anthropocene.

Once functional, concrete pylons and cattle ramps become monumental objects, their sheer mass and persistence allow them to exist for a millennium. Once abandoned, the concrete structure’s original purpose and functionality is forgotten over time. Thus the become the archaeology of the future, the symbolic meaning of their forms are interpreted a thousand years from now, drawing a parallel with the present readings of the artefacts of Mesolithic Star Carr.

Christopher Brown


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