The idea of consumption itself seems to violently swallow up more than it can contain as it implies ingestion, devastation, incineration, absorption and exhaustion. And after this wild force performs, what is left? Detritus: left behind bits, fragments, sediments, shavings and remainders with questionable value.
Stories of consumption and its detritus are stories of cycles, systems and ecologies. The two terms can be seen as binaries or as inextricable partners; at odds or sustainably supportive. Usually seen in a negative context and more recently in reference to our human survival and the feared anthropocene, prominent examples of consumption and detritus litter our news feeds and our future worries.
Consumption and Detritus is Concordia University’s Graduate Humanities conference theme for 2016 and a prompt for us to relook at the ways in which these myriad cycles and systems affect our world.