A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting is a growing collection of items contributed from places that may disappear due to the combined physical, political, and economic impacts of climate change, including glacial melting, sea level rise, coastal erosion and desertification. Through common but differentiated collections, the contributed materials form an archive of the future anterior; what will have been.
The materials in the archive mark the asymmetry of present or anticipated loss, standing in as proxies for the contributors’ recognition of the geopolitical production (or spatial politics) of precarity and slow-onset dispossession. Together, the contributions form one material record among many; a collection of community-gathered evidence, a public record, a midden.
The archive operates from the principle that anything is equally valuable as a record of present or projected future disappearance of a place, as chosen by someone there. A contribution doesn’t have to originate from that location—it can be anything that happens to be there, including detritus, flotsam or jetsam.
Amy Balkin is an artist whose work involves land and the geopolitical relationships that frame it. Her projects address legal borders and systems, environmental justice, and the allocation of common-pool resources.
This archive was created by Amy Balkin with contributors Jelena Adeli, Golnar Adili, Bill Burns, Jose Ramon Castelrau and his grandson, Adriane Colburn, Vreni Michelini Castillo, Laura Colomban, Wynell Davis, Monique Dean, Steve Desroches, LaShine Dickerson, Rodrigo Garcia, Ole Jørgen Hammeken, Tyler Henry, Nandor Kovats, Jesus Landin-Torrez III, Nenesinho, Bertrand Lozay, Ali Macdonald, Tyjunaique McKenzie, Gerd Mörsch, Micaela Neus, Milissa Orzolek, Sandhya Parajuli, Peter Peiser, Sabine Reinecke, Melanie Roumiguière, Guadalupe Schneider, Leo Sexer, Christine Shearer, Marcel Sparmann, Matt Swagler, Steve Sweet, Monika Szilabi, Elizabeth T., Pleasur'ne Thomas, Caroline Tripet, and co-registrars Cassie Thornton, Malte Roloff (2012) and Olga Kopenkina (2014-15).