Epoch Wars 

How should we name the geological era we will all die in?

Epoch Wars is an immersive, participatory live artwork camouflaged as a symposium, where Pony Express challenge the naming of the ‘anthropocene’ to explore who is really responsible for the state of our planet.

Earth’s history is divided into massive slices of time called epochs. The Anthropocene Working Group, a team of 34 geological scientists, are responsible for advancing this name. They are promoting the name “Anthropocene”, which means human era, the era defined by human impact on the planet. A surge of debate has accused this name of being weaponised and toxic, and so we are waging a war to kill it. “Anthropocene” blames all of humanity for earth’s circumstances, obscuring the fact that it was specific people with specific power and specific names and addresses that are actually responsible for the worst ecological crimes.

Who is really at fault, and what epoch name will help us create a future worth fighting for? Are we living in the capitalocene, or manthropocene, or perhaps the symbiocene, the gynecene, of the terrametacene?

Epoch Wars has commissioned contributions and propaganda campaigns from diverse international and local artists, scientists, and visionaries, asking them to imagine alternative worlds to the “anthropocene”. These counternarratives are built into a speculative symposium, featuring keynotes and deep-play panel talks with the goal to radicalise our audiences into epoch warriors.

What should we name a future worth fighting for?

Epoch Wars is a seismic, anarchic adventure camouflaged as a conference; a deep-time festival-of-ideas where you get to decide on the name of our geological era.

Earth’s history is divided into massive slabs of time called ‘epochs’. Right now, a contest is raging to re-label our slice the “Anthropocene” – the age of human impact. But the “Anthropocene” blames all of us equally for Earth’s dire circumstances, rather than the corporations, CEOs, and top dogs in charge.

Infiltrating Newcastle City Hall, Epoch Wars enlists you and an army of Australia’s most exciting artists and speakers. In a series of subversive keynotes, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities, we will battle it out for the naming rights of our shared future.

The geological just got personal.


This project has been developed through CultureLab at Arts House in Melbourne, at Chronus Art Centre in Shanghai, and the western mining town of Queenstown, Tasmania, with support from the Australia Council for the Arts.

Produced by Performing Lines
Conference Facilitators & Epoch Warrior Showrunners: Pony Express (Ian Sinclair and Loren Kronemyer)
Epoch Warriors: Breakout Session Artists: BLECK and Tallulah Brown
Epoch Warrior: Breakout Session Artist & Keynote: Emma-Maye Gibson
Acknowledgement & Keynote Speaker: Luke Russell
Multimedia & Sound Design: Donovan Miller
Scenography Associate: Rachael Guinness
Production Manager: Joseph Burdock
Stage Manager: Sophie Ambler
Interactive Website Designer: Xavier Burrow
Conference Branding: Una X
Video Broadcast coordinator: Joseph Shrimpton
Video Broadcast & collaborating artist: Tiyan Baker
Video Broadcast Collaborating Org: Chronus Art Center, Shanghai
Conference Producer: Samantha Butterworth
Featuring Epochal virtual artworks from Alex Last (Tas), Rory Wray Mcann (Tas), Natasha Tontey (Indo) & Lu Yang (China)