Wintersemester 2016/2017, BA/MA Textile- and Surface Design

The Future of Stones - speculation on contaminated matter

The Future of Stones

Speculation on contaminated Matter

‘’The future of stones will be marked by human activities with significant global impact on Earth‘s geology and ecosystems’’. Jürgen Renn und Bernd Scherer: Das Athropozän.

 

In the city of Bento Rodrigues, Brazil, on November 5th 2015, a dam retaining a concentrated broth of toxic mining waste broke, causing the world‘s second worst environmental catastrophe of its kind. The event has affected the region and beyond in unpredictable and irreversible ways, leading to dramatic changes. This project engages in a speculative geology around the material outcomes of these happenings.

 

Samples of the contaminated earth were collected from different, affected locations. They represent a type of material alien to nature, but merging with and becoming part of it. Yet they are fundamentally different to “natural” materials as being based on human creation and having the potential of unforeseen impact on the ecological system. The samples have been empirically experimented with, artificially shrinking geological time by applying high pressure and temperature, with the aim of developing a stone of the future - an aggregation of present earthly matters elapsed into a prognosis.

 

Stones here are understood as media, which concentrate multidimensional information, specially about time. The project seeks for an approach to the reception of this information, beyond the categories of human linear communication. Concurrently, the collapse in Bento Rodrigues represents a tendency that draws our times together, the increasingly precarious interference of a given natural ecology and a human made “next nature”. The project thus can be understood as a forensic examination of these goings-on, from the perspective of a fictional future. In this pseudo-alchemist speculative design, a post-human geology is illustrated, gathering worldly experience and projecting how Earth may unfold from here and now.

Participants Silvia Noronha
Project category Project subjects BA/MA Textile- and Surface Design
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Dam collapse in Bento Rodrigues-Mariana
Collage made from videos about the collapse
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