Announcing publication of Solid, Broken, Changing
01.27.2020, 1:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


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We are happy to announce the publication of a work of fiction by Elizabeth Ellsworth, inspired by smudge studio’s 15 years of collaborative art-making.

Solid, Broken, Changing is a young adult novel about an intuitive young woman who wakes up to the reality of the Anthropocene — just when she is setting out to pursue her life’s dreams.

As each new day turns the world and the future more strange and uncertain, Kally and her unexpected ally, Stuart, dare to confront the fact that they are enmeshed with, and in, the Anthropocene. It is a courageous, generative act—even if it doesn’t always feel that way. New realizations about the immensity of the changes taking place come fast and furious, and Kally and Stuart are buffeted by their emotional force. Growing new skills and inventively adapting old ones, they dead reckon into undreamt of futures that are suddenly theirs.

Like smudge’s ongoing projects, Solid, Broken, Changing connects the intimacy of daily experience to the vast, generative forces of deep time and geological change.

Writing the book began as a way to give voice to smudge’s lived experiences of field-researching and responding to the Anthropocene as artists. The novel was in rough outline form seven years ago when journalists first began to explain the word “Anthropocene” to their readers. As Anthropocene events ramified, the book project took on even more urgency and relevance. Its print proof was being edited when Greta Thunberg crossed the Atlantic and as the 2019-20 fires raged in Australia. And now, Solid, Broken, Changing feels less like a fiction and more like an artifact of the contemporary moment.

Staging a story about living the Anthropocene on the threshold of adulthood felt appropriate. It’s a time when self and self-in-the-world undergo radical transformations. The ways that we humans envision the future as we cross—or fail to cross—the threshold into adulthood, trigger outcomes that are long term and far from knowable. The ongoing question of how humans continuously shape “the future” of our species and the planet by our habits, actions, and desires is the predicament that lies at the heart of both this novel and the Anthropocene.

Ways of meeting and living the Anthropocene; emotional resiliency in the wake of massive change; dangers, challenges and wonders of co-existence; what it means to realize that we are of the Anthropocene and it is of us—these are several of the contemporary conditions of daily life that Solid, Broken, Changing explores through narrative fiction.

Solid, Broken, Changing is available in paperback and as an Ebook.

IMG_0487photo by smudge, from Conveyance 

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