Earthly Impressions: Drinking Tea at the Tilt of the Earth is an Ecological Act
03.13.2019, 8:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


On March 1st and 2nd, smudge studio staged a micro-production at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle. Our project was hosted by the Earthly Impressions:  Book, Text and Archive in the Anthropocene symposium, convened by The Anthropocene Research Cluster at the University of Washington.

During two afternoon sessions, we offered Tea at the Tilt of the Earth to two small groups of symposium participants and members of the public. Both days, the event began at solar noon (12:21 pm in Seattle).

Upon arriving at the Henry’s auditorium, guests received a short introduction and then invited to take a seat on the stage and observe an array of the Tilt of the Earth 23.5º Teacups.  In silence, they read a card contextualizing the micro-production within the themes of the symposium, while shade-grown sencha from Japan was brewed and served. After 15 minutes of silent reading and drinking of tea, we moved into James Turrell’s Light Reign Skyspace at the Gallery for discussion. The light, air and change in temperature of the bright, early March afternoon poured in through the open roof of the Skyspace, and co-mingled with Anthropocene-infused forces. Planes passed through the framed sky overhead and traffic sounds filtered in through the open ceiling and door.

During the discussion, participants expressed appreciation for the chance to pause within the busy flow of the symposium, as well as a chance to sit with one another (mostly strangers) in silence. They also said they welcomed the material prompt of the tilted cups which invited them to project their imaginations into planetary-scale forces, and pause to intentionally experience how our own bodies are “impressed” by those forces at the scale of the everyday. The tea was also savored!

This is the first Tea at the Tilt of the Earth event that smudge studio has offered in 002019. We look forward to further collaborations and offering context-specific micro-productions in the near future.


*sincere thanks to our generous host Jason Groves. All images this page FOP, 002019, micro-production photography by Stefan Gonzales.

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