Carbon Ruins: A Museum of the Fossil Age

Carbon Ruins Collective


( Concept )

Carbon Ruins is a museum from the future. Using a ‘master narrative’ based on the 1.5ºC target of the Paris Agreement, it invites visitors to inhabit the net-zero world of 2053 and in so doing contemplate the transition years from 2020. Through a range of objects, narratives, performances and images – artefacts of high-carbon civilisation – the museum evidences the “progress” and setbacks humanity made over three dramatic decades of intensifying climate disruption and its evolving contexts. The exhibits are displayed in an interactive manner that offers ways for the visitor to recognize, anticipate and debate the emergent benefits and challenges of post-fossil-fuel life, providing opportunity to speculate on how we got to zero carbon by 2050: what we left behind and what we took with us.

The museum is an experimental, speculative kind of climate imaginary: playful and provocative. It is a transferable museum of practice with multiple local inflection points: we will encourage local/regional objects from Glasgow/Scotland and hitch them to other stories with global resonance. The aim is to create the sense that a post-fossil transition is possible, and in so doing question the responsibility and idea of the museum in climate change as a site of settled heritage.

Project Team
Carbon Ruins Collective
Project Name
Carbon Ruins: A Museum of the Fossil Age
Team Location
Scotland, Glasgow/ Sweden/ The Netherlands
Arts, curatorial & creative practices