“KALPA” is a film about deep time and the impermanence of life on Earth.

It takes the audience on a journey from the first forms of microscopic life emerging in Earth’s oceans, through its ongoing accumulation on the seafloor as biomass, and then to its discovery by people 4 billion years later in the form of crude oil. The film’s second half documents the ubiquity of plastic products, plastic waste, and the eventual contamination of the ocean ecosystem by microplastics.

‘Kalpa’ is a Sanskrit word referring to the vast period between the creation, destruction, and recreation of the world in ancient Indian philosophy. Spanning 4.32 billion human years, one ‘Kalpa’ or ‘day of Brahma’ is remarkably close to the estimated 4.5 billion-year age of planet Earth today.

The film suggests that we too may be approaching the end of our time on Earth — and that the beginning of a new cycle of life is an inevitable, beautiful reality of our universe.

The film falls in two parts: before and after the emergence of human life on Earth. The two parts are projected facing each other on opposing walls, placing the visitor, and therefore human life, at the centre of this narrative. A mirrored floor reflects the moving images beyond the ground, symbolising the latent energy of life in Earth beneath us.

In the final moments of the film, a living plankton attempts to consume a sphere of microplastic, which eventually kills it. In conclusion, this is the beginning of the end.