Epoch Wars

Pony Express


– Claire Colebrook

How should we name the 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.


Created by
Pony Express (Ian Sinclair & Loren Kronemyer)

Video Artists
Tiyan Baker, Tom Cramond

Photographic Documentation
Julian Frichot

New Annual Keynote Speakers
BLECK, Tallulah Brown, Dale Collier, & Emma Maye Gibson

Produced by Performing Lines

Information for Presenters

Epoch Wars is currently in development and will be available for presentation from June 2020.

Samantha Butterworth Senior Producer
Marion Potts Executive Producer

Presentation History

New Annual Festival, Newcastle City Hall
Newcastle, NSW
View full Presentation History

Full Presentation History for Epoch Wars

Australian Performing Arts Market, Meat Market
Melbourne, VIC
Development Convening, Brunswick Mechanic Institute
Melbourne, VIC
AsiaTOPA Takeover, MPavilion
Melbourne, VIC
New Annual, The Lock-Up
Newcastle, NSW
New Annual Festival, Newcastle City Hall
Newcastle, NSW

Project Partners & Acknowledgements

Epoch Wars is produced by Performing Lines and has been developed at New Annual (City of Newcastle), Arts House (Melbourne), Chronus Art Centre (Shanghai), and the mining town of Queenstown, Western Tasmania.

This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Ministry of the Arts; the College of Arts, Law and Medicine at the University of Tasmania; the NSW Government through Create NSW and developed through Arts House’s CultureLAB.

In everything we do, we acknowledge that we live on Aboriginal land and constantly learn from the wisdom of First Peoples.

Where we are and the history that precedes us informs how we work and how we move forward.