Scale Invariance / Theory

polyfoamgeodes

The following is included in the upcoming ebook connected to our art installation, which opens Monday the 4th of April at Ann Arbor Art Center.

 

Theory /

[1] Scale

Under fractal dilatation geology appears invariant, meaning there is self-similarity. Without a scale it is impossible to determine the size of the geological feature. A geological object could be an outcrop or a cliff or a mountain. In earth science the size is important but not in art. As Smithson pointed out, “A Crack in the wall, if viewed in terms of scale, not size, could be called the Grand Canyon.” The size determines the object but the scale determines the art. Scale is malleable and occurs in the sensation of the phenomena. An art of abstract geology inserts our attention into the flow of sedimentation and erosion. The installation is a crack calling attention to larger processes.

The broader perspectives of today’s world are as radical a leap as the invention of perspective was in the 1400s: we can now see things from outer space and we can see things underground. As artists we stare at the stars above our heads and the ground beneath our feet.

[2] Geohistory

By making abstract geology objects constructed out of industrial materials we call attention to the human-made ‘techno fossils’ as artifacts of the anthropocene. Taking on the appearance of geology or of the fossil they call attention to a time predating the emergence of the human/world correlate, and in their composition that includes poorly biodegradable material they extend into a future without us.

Layer upon layer we pile cognition of the inorganic, geological and cosmological substratum. Stratigraphy is in the background of this installation informing the approach to ideas, methods and forms. We pulverize the understanding into the fossil record. What really constitutes living in a paradigm where human history collapses into geohistory? It means to have a sensation of the long now.

 

[3] Castrophism

The color black is used throughout the installation as inspired by the ‘black mat’ layer of the Younger Dryas impact. The color provokes the question of whether or not our current times are a consequence in action not unlike that carbonaceous boundary. We are living in an age that is just as geological ‘instantaneous’ as the catastrophic transition points of the past. But the color not only connects to the deep past: it also extends into the future as black carbon.

A portrait of the trace of the anthropos that we might leave behind: some of the materials used to create the installation may have long archs of duration in their decomposition and some are toxic objects. We have found these objects which would have otherwise gone to the landfill and used them as materials in our sculptures, shaping them into the affect of geology.

Our work opens up sensations bearing upon memory, the archive, catastrophe and extinction.

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