Monday, January 6th, 2020

First I’ll explain the title. MAST is an acronym for Manifattura di Arti, Sperimentazione e Technologia (Manufacturing of Art, Experimentation and Technology) founded in Bologna. Anthropocene is the proposed name for the current geological epoch when man has a major impact on the earth. MAST has some very interesting exhibits and you can learn more about the organization by following this link. I imagine that you might find it interesting.

I had noticed this in a listing of events happening in BO (Bologna) and that it’s last day was the 5th. So I went there with my friend Gianluca on the afternoon of the 4th at around 4 PM. Well, below is what I saw as we approached.

Ooh, what a line.
It continued around the block.

Well, we decided that it was probably not worth the wait so I decided to come back the next morning at 10 AM when it opens. So the next morning I arrived at 10:10 and here is what I saw.

Ooh, what a line.

Well, that’s the same photo but it’s also true although while it still went around the corner there were fewer people and in fact the line moved pretty fast and I was inside in about 15 minutes.

So before moving on to the exhibit, I was really taken with the architecture.

Reflecting pool and mirror sculpture at the entrance.
Detail of mirrored sculpture at the entrance to MAST.

There were various items to the exhibits but the most stunning things were the photos and videos. I can’t share the videos other than still images of them but I think that you’ll like the photos.

Video of coal trains leaving Wyoming (on right) and returning on left. I timed it and it takes 3 minutes for the loaded train to pass. That’s a LONG train. With the headphones you can listen but listening to a train gets boring after a bit.
A coal mine in Wyoming.
Clear cutting in Canada
Clear cut in Malaysia
Sawmill area in Lagos Nigeria
A part of Lagos Nigeria. The population is estimated to be 24 million. A guy next to me said, “no wonder so many Nigerians are coming here”.
Nairobi Kenya landfill
A copper mine in New Mexico
Some kind of mineral mine in, I think, Germany. Beautiful isn’t it?
The world’s largest machine at a coal mine in Germany. Not so beautiful. Note the man leaving the machine on the lower left.
Tailing from a phosphor mine in Florida. I was totally unaware that Florida had mines.
Carrara marble quarry. Also a mine in a certain sense.
Petrochemical complex near Houston. You could almost think of this as a mine but it’s certainly ugly.
Speaking of Houston; cars damaged by flooding due to a hurricane near Houston.
Central valley BIG farm – surely only one of many.
Somewhere in the Los Angeles megalopolis.
Solar energy in Spain. Movable mirrors concentrate the sun’s rays to heat water so it’s steam power in the end. And maybe a solar farm?

There were 35 photos in all so this is only a sample of those that I thought the most impressive. They all express in one way or another the changes being made to the planet by us. Not always negative but, let’s face it, you really have to look hard sometimes to find the positives.

Speaking of positives, I have more to say about the building. For one thing there was a bidet in the men’s bathroom. Every household or hotel bathroom has one but I’d never seen a public restroom with one.

Then there was the atrium as I was leaving the exhibit.

Atrium sculpture

And another sculpture and pool.

Shallow pool and scupture

I hope you enjoyed the post. So if you ever run across an exhibit by MAST, I recommend that you take a look.

2 Responses to “MAST – ANTHROPOCENE”

  1. Marcia Allen Says:

    The pictures are stunning; the impact on the human race is heartbreaking.

  2. Joe Says:

    It is interesting to me that sometimes the photos, especially of mines and industrial sites can be really beautiful. And yes, we destroying our planet thoughtlessly. I won’t be here to see the worst of it but eventually I expect that there will be mass migration as areas become uninhabitable with very serious consequences. It’s a very dystopian vision but I don’t see how it will be avoided unless serious action is taken and fairly soon.


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