A Measure of Rockness, 2018

 

Shown at the Royal College of Art Work in Progress Show 2018.

 

Minerals surround us, they are us-they make up the bones in bodies, plastic cups, and asteroids. As Lynn Margulis says, 'We are walking, talking minerals'.

I attempt to communicate this by presenting a collage of images drawn from lists of things in which a small portion is viewed at any one time, through naturally occurring mineral lenses, ulexite and selenite. They sit upon a tower of plaster of paris, or gypsum, and gypsum makes both selenite and plaster of paris. This form is accompanied by a geopoetic film of scrolling text and deep-fried acrylic paint artefacts.

 

read more

 

 

Additional writing:

 

 

The mineral elements that are converged together to make the assemblage that is known to us as the human, are the same mineral elements that make up the composition of the Earth and most of the known universe. Largely they were formed in the outer cosmos, by the fusing of neutron stars or some other celestial manufacturing. This moment we are situated within, is-as Timothy Morton says-just a particular fleeting glimpse of the result of the big bang, all was changed before, and all will be changed again.

 

I am investigating humans relationship to nonhuman entities, both inert and alive. The things that make up our world are elementally the same-simply different convergences of minerals and compounds. The plastic that was formed to make your pen was once an ancient living organism. These organisms are now ubiquitous again in the form of plastics-they are found in honey that bees make and we eat, they flow with the water from our taps, they are distributed throughout the planet. In fish organs and pizza.

Everything is in flux-remoulding-but not necessarily at human temporality, often in geologic time, tens of millions of years. We are fast beings, and earthly change is slow. Rocks appear static, although they change over eons. All matter is alive in some way, vibrant, although it may appear inert. This is a paradox.

And yet, is plastic an example of this paradox? As said, plastics were once both alive and now they lay inert, perhaps brightly coloured. Not 'dead', just changed. The keys I used to type these words with were something living, once.

Everything is a blend, a mashed, torn, and threaded weave of recomposed organisms, elements, and compounds. We have an elemental similarity, my pen and I. Does realising this make it more different? Or more common? There is a strange connection to the permanence of this 'disposable', relentlessly durable material, and the lifeform that formed it, they are still here-only transformed. We should not forget the value and importance of the creatures that formed the two-second-use plastic cup, which lived millions of years ago and then was used today to vaguely hydrate somebody in a hurry.

 

Minerals surround us, they are us-they make up the bones in bodies, plastic cups, and asteroids. As Lynn Margulis says, 'We are walking, talking minerals'.

I attempt to communicate this by presenting a collage of images drawn from lists of things in which a small portion is viewed at any one time, through naturally occurring mineral lenses, ulexite and selenite. They sit upon a tower of plaster of paris, or gypsum, and gypsum makes both selenite and plaster of paris. This form is accompanied by a geopoetic film and deep-fried acrylic paint artefacts.

 

 

 

 

Work     About    Blog

© Copyright Greg Orrom Swan 2018

Work     About    Blog