Anthropocene is the latest book by Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal, and Nick de Pencier to chronicle the massive and irreversible impact of humans on the earth on a geological scale. In photographs that are both stunning and disconcerting, Burtynsky, Baichwal, and de Pencier document species’ extinction, technofossils, and terraforming (mines and industrial agriculture). The book features a range of essays by artists, curators, and scientists. Some part of an international group of scientists who have proposed that the earth is now entering a new era of geological time where human activity is the driving force behind the environmental and geological change — the Anthropocene. The book brings contemporary art into conversation with environmental science and anthropology on a topic that urgently affects all of us.
The Office of Gilbert Li designed a flexible but rigid design system for the book which was used to print three languages simultaneously through a single-colour plate change on press. I worked as the lead designer on the book under the direction and close mentorship from Gilbert. The book coincided with a major international exhibition which opened simultaneously in September 2018 at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada, as well as the release of a film on the same topic by Baichwal and de Pencier. The exhibition traveled to Fondazione MAST in Bologna in the spring of 2019. The hardcover 240-page book was printed in three languages (English, Italian, French) and measures 17 .8 × 25.4 cm.