Field Station 3: Anthropocene Vernacular. Industry, Indigeneity and Empire

Illinois / Missouri

© Jennifer Colten

The St. Louis region is a landscape that carries the memories, hopes and anxieties of millennia of settlement history. Once the meeting point of the tribes of the Osage and the Illinois, the Cahokia and the Missouri; once a border along the French colony of Louisiana and later the boundary between the free and the enslaved. In the geographical mindset of the United States, this boundary remains effective even today. The river, on the other hand, combines the apparent contrasts of city and country, distant past and uncertain future. These complex relationships and histories come to the surface on its banks.

Field Station 3 postulates that the Anthropocene is not simply something “out there,” but directly among and in humans themselves – woven into the textures of everyday life. The Field Station will study and tell the multigenerational story of how this region’s people have lived, cultivated and embodied their everyday culture in the midst of the convergence of social, environmental and economic crises. Grounded in this way in everyday life, Anthropocene Vernacular fills a gap in those academic approaches to Anthropocene research that exclude the concrete knowledge of the communities that live and survive in the landscapes of the Anthropocene.

More about the work of Field Station 3