Unleash the Geologic Imagination
01.23.2015, 1:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


smudge/FOP is honored to be one of the presenters at the upcoming Sonic Acts Festival in Amsterdam.  The theme of the 2015 festival is “The Geologic Imagination”:

Inspired by geosciences, this edition of the Sonic Acts Festival zooms in on planet Earth through the theme The Geologic Imagination. Human activity has irreversibly changed the composition of the atmosphere, the oceans, and even the Earth’s crust. Humanity has become a geological force. The way we see the world, how we understand the systems and processes of nature, and our intentions and interactions with the planet are central to The Geologic Imagination. How do science and art document and portray the changes and transformations that occur on a geological scale? How can we experience these changes and transformations? Sonic Acts invites artists and theorists to tap into their ‘geologic imagination’ and present the images, sounds and ideas that it generates.

We will share work at the conference portion of the Festival, described as a four day event where, “artists, scientists and writers discuss The Geologic Imagination, explore the radical transformations to our world, and what it means to live in the Anthropocene.” We are excited to be joining speakers such as Timothy Morton, Graham Harman and Alan Weisman.  In addition to the conference, the Festival includes concerts, performances, a field trip and also a publication. The Geologic Imagination book includes work by humans whom we massively respect, including Matt Coolidge and contributions related to the Sonic Acts Dark Ecology project (which runs through 2016) in the border zone of northern Norway and Russia.

Tickets and full program details are available on the Sonic Acts website.

The frame Sonic Acts has set-up for those gathering in Amsterdam is encouraging.  Artists, writers, theorists, musicians, scientists and a wide-array of hybrid practitioners are showing up to acknowledge planetary changes and activate imaginations at the scale of the geologic.  Most likely, those attending and presenting are beginning to “turn into the Anthropocene” with eyes wide open (or as open as they can be at this point).  We’ll look to presenters and audiences for intuitions, motives, and processes capable of re-tuning our minds and spirits to meet and engage the realities we are enmeshed within.


And closer to home, we invite those interested to share a geologically-inflected afternoon with us in April, courtesy of the MoMA, New York.  On Saturday, April 25th we’ll lead a walking tour in Manhattan called, “Uncovering Deep Time in Midtown:”

Spend an afternoon on a New York City walking tour with the artist collaborative smudge studio (Elizabeth Ellsworth and Jamie Kruse). While much of this city’s architecture and infrastructure depends upon geologic materials that took millennia to form, most humans have little cultural awareness of this reality today. During this walk, participants are invited to experience and consider for themselves the geologic forces and flows that give form and foundation to New York City. After considering the geologic materials embedded within everyday life here, we will consider deep futures in the making and how city dwellers might inhabit and creatively navigate current planetary changes. The walk pauses at three sites where participants will be invited to conduct on-site research through sketching and by accessing relevant information on their mobile phones. At each stop, smudge studio will offer a provocation to use art and design as “aesthetic prostheses” for considering New York City as an aperture onto deep time. The walk covers a distance of approximately two miles and includes visits to Central Park and Rockefeller Center. Each participant will receive a complimentary copy of smudge studio’s Geologic City: A Field Guide to the GeoArchitecture of New York (2012).

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