Technology, with the internet at its helm, is not so slowly but very surely saturating the world with new content and information. This is a threat to our global cultural diversity as it erase the lines between cultures and we forget about indigenous traditions and ways. What can we do to stop this from happening?
Photographic artist Jimmy Nelson believes that exposing the world to the rich range of indigenous peoples is a way to safeguard not only their traditions and ways of life, but also to bolster one of humanity’s greatest values: our unique cultural heritages and histories.
The Preservation Robot is the first autonomous technology ever created to address the homogenization of human culture. The robot, which we activated live on stage at SXSW 2019, has only one purpose: to make sure indigenous cultures are never forgotten.
Every second of every day it places images and information from a wide array of indigenous cultures all over the web, on websites such as Tinypic and Reddit. In this way we use the internet, a tool of homogenization, against itself, to preserve what’s left of humanity’s original cultures.
The images that The Preservation Robot distributes throughout the web have infiltrated the internet. From Google to Flickr, you can see photos of some of the most glorious, yet threatened indigenous cultures everywhere. For now this is Jimmy Nelson’s own work, but in the near future these will also be images made by other photographers, via the Jimmy Nelson Foundation, a group which finds, supports and enables new talent to photograph and document indigenous cultures for all of humanity to see.