How does our secular society manage its heritage and, with that, its future? By collecting and archiving data with near-religious zeal: human DNA in the form of slivers of umbilical cord, dental samples and sperm, DNA of animals already extinct in the wild, the seeds of all manner of (agricultural) plants. And, of course, vast quantities of digital data that we leave behind on the big data pathways of the internet, credit card statements and official registers. From 2009 to 2013, Swiss photographer Yann Mingard (*1973) documented this avid pursuit of collection and storage in images that raise many of the unasked but pressing questions of our time. Can artistic, philosophical and essayistic images, thoughts and analyses catch up with the breakneck speed at which scientific achievements, insights and possibilities are developing? Pondering these realities, writes, Thomas Seelig, is the challenge we face with the project 'Deposit' by Yann Mingard.
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