Becoming Geologic

May, 2023, Collar Works, Troy, NY

Mixed-media installation with gravel; metal; bread; edible clay; scents; various human-made rocks and aggregates; cinderblock with dough; clay and charcoal sorhgum rolls; audio recordings; digital print (24x32); vinyl mesh print.

“The body is a good place for collapsing human and geologic timescales.” —Iemanjá Brown

Sensing the Anthropocene involves conflicting tempos, lapses of memory, and futures made from a nonsynchronous Now. It is about sensing time lags, it is about falling together. It is already about becoming toxic, becoming aggregate, becoming sticky and porous. It is characterized by mutual processes of digestion and metabolism between our bodies and rock / soil / earth. Bodies can sense the intensities of the actual-now, the falling apart, the emergent and the what-might-be. The real and the potential shimmer in and out of each other in the momentary intensities of the present. The phantom of flowing, linear time haunts us all, implying a discrete future and a universal history we never had.

Becoming Geologic is a proposition for engagement in a speculative geologic archive. Recently codified by a panel of the International Commission on Stratigraphy, the Anthopocene (an era where human activity has the most substantial impact on earth systems) is inherently a geologic era. This installation provides archival processes for bodies to sense and question such an epoch. Digestion, aggregation, and metabolism in the installation reflect the time of microbial worlds, of nonlinear flows, and of things persisting long beyond their use. Historically, the development of geologic archives grew primarily out of an industrial desire for reliable knowledge of the distribution of ore for mining practices, deeply implicating them in extractive capitalism and colonialism—two major drivers of the Anthropocene. The collection of rocks and minerals housed in museum archives acutely reflect extractive mentalities by bifurcating materials made by humans and those from “nature.” Furthermore, they suggest a universal linear time of planetary change which forecloses loops and meshy overlaps in co-constructed time(s). Becoming Geological reflects change that is mutual. ongoing, or unsettled.

Asphalt perfume created in collaboration with Ronald Hedden, Professor of Practice in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Speculative asphalt geologic artifacts:

Troy, NY + NYC