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Above my desk I've had pinned, for the whole of the length of this project, a diagramme of the geological ages of earth. An image of a spiral where those things familiar to us; the dinosaurs then birds, the mammals then our forebears, are there on the late spiral arm. The imaginable world, one of creatures and plants, one see in films and picture books. The noise and heat, the sense of brush of the undergrowth and creature noises are conceivable, we can place ourselves into this, even if it’s a bizarre mix of Hollywood shlock and nature documentary. Then there we are, right at the end of the spiral, swinging into the present like the deus ex machina at the end of the play. Almost all of the spiral, spinning away from us here right at the end of it all, like water into a plug, contains pretty much nothing, silent seas with small floating shapes. This really is the challenge of deep time, not the dinosaur but the endless eons of plankton.

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