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Fifty years ago Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke introduced us to the ‘Black Monoliths’ in their film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (1968). Dense black slabs or monoliths were scattered throughout the solar system. Their supernatural role was further developed in Clarke’s ‘Space Odyssey’ series of books.

The Black Monoliths are all built to the ratio 1:4:9, they travel the cosmos with the power to support the evolution of lesser beings (such as the human race) or destroy them. The Black Monoliths can replicate themselves. On one occasion they utilise their own repetition to form a dense black energy, to block the light from the sun to the earth. They did this in order to cause the extinction of the human race, whose activity threatened other alien life forms.

In the 21st century scattered across any part of the earth, inhabited by the human race, you may find Black Bags. Made from plastic, they, most usually, hold 75 litres of waste material. The bags are manufactured in innumerable replications. They are generally used to dispose of the unwanted, unutilised or disused things that have been evolved to support human life. In dense repetition the energy held in the Black Bags holds the power to threaten the ecosystem of the earth, and consequentially make extinct many of the life forms that depend on it.



Dr Jill Townsley

Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art

University of Huddersfield

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