Making the Geologic Now

Making the Geologic Now: Responses to Material Conditions of Contemporary Life

Edited by Elizabeth Ellsworth and Jamie Kruse

Print Book Design by Reg Beatty & Jamie Kruse

Web-Book Design by Alli Crandell

Brooklyn, NY: punctum books, 2012/2013. 262 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0615766362. OPEN-ACCESS download + interactive web-book + $39 [€35.00/£31.00] in print: paperbound/7 X 10 in.

INTERACTIVE WEB-BOOK HERE: GeologicNow.com.

Published: 2012-12-04

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Surveying a vast range of topics and practices—from humans as dominant geomorphic agents, to forces and time scales that challenge the very limits of an anthropocentric worldview—Making the Geologic Now argues for the central place of a geological imaginary in contemporary culture. From metaphor to material, the “geological turn” in art, design, architecture, and poetry, a result of the increased presence of geological realities in everyday life, is shown to be a catalyst for new considerations of how the human and non-human, the ecological and the ethical, are increasingly intertwined. The volume’s engaging selection unpacks the layers of our urgent relationship to the geologic, with its deep time and prospective futures, from our destruction of coral reefs and the storing of nuclear waste, to meteoritic dust that fall on us daily, and the hundreds of man-made satellites now in geostationary orbit around the earth.

~João Ribas, Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center

Making the Geologic Now announces shifts in cultural sensibilities and practices. It offers early sightings of an increasingly widespread turn toward the geologic as source of explanation, motivation, and inspiration for creative responses to conditions of the present moment. In the spirit of a broadside, this edited collection circulates images and short essays from over 40 artists, designers, architects, scholars, and journalists who are actively exploring and creatively responding to the geologic depth of “now.” Contributors’ ideas and works are drawn from architecture, design, contemporary philosophy and art.  They are offered as test sites for what might become thinkable or possible if humans were to collectively take up the geologic as our instructive co-designer—as a partner in designing thoughts, objects, systems, and experiences.

Recent natural and human-made events triggered by or triggering the geologic have made volatile earth forces sense-able and relevant with new levels of intensity. As a condition of contemporary life in 2012, the geologic “now” is lived as a cascade of events. Humans and what we build participate in their unfolding. Today, and unlike the environmental movements of the 1970s, the geologic counts as “the environment” and invites us to extend our active awareness of inhabitation out to the cosmos and down to the Earth’s iron core.

 

*Image from Trace – cameraless records of radioactive contamination: Shimpei Takeda, 2012 (photo by Keisuke Hiei)

A new cultural sensibility is emerging. As we struggle to understand and meet new material realities of earth and life on earth, it becomes increasingly obvious that the geologic is not just about rocks. We now cohabit with the geologic in unprecedented ways, in teeming assemblages of exchange and interaction among geologic materials and forces and the bio, cosmo, socio, political, legal, economic, strategic, and imaginary. As a reading and viewing experience, Making the Geologic Now is designed to move through culture, sounding an alert from the unfolding edge of the “geologic turn” that is now propagating through contemporary ideas and practices.

*Image from Art and Environment and Place: Appalachia (Kayford Mountain, West Virginia), Erika Osborne, 2011

Contributors include:  Matt Baker, Jarrod Beck, Stephen Becker, Brooke Belisle, Jane Bennett, David Benque, Canary Project (Susannah Sayler, Edward Morris), Center for Land Use Interpretation, Brian Davis, Seth Denizen, Anthony Easton, Elizabeth Ellsworth, Valeria Federighi, William L. Fox, David Gersten, Bill Gilbert, Oliver Goodhall, John Gordon, Ilana Halperin, Lisa Hirmer, Rob Holmes, Katie Holten, Jane Hutton, Julia Kagan, Wade Kavanaugh, Oliver Kellhammer, Elizabeth Kolbert, Janike Kampevold Larsen, Jamie Kruse, William Lamson, Tim Maly, Geoff Manaugh, Don McKay, Rachel McRae, Brett Milligan, Christian MilNeil, Laura Moriarity, Stephen Nguyen, Erika Osborne, Trevor Paglen, Anne Reeve, Chris Rose, Victoria Sambunaris, Paul Lloyd Sargent, Antonio Stoppani, Rachel Sussman, Shimpei Takeda, Chris Taylor, Ryan Thompson, Etienne Turpin, Nicola Twilley, Bryan M. Wilson.

Elizabeth Ellsworth is an artist and Professor of Media Studies, The New School for Public Engagement, New York City. Jamie Kruse is an artist, designer, and independent scholar working in Brooklyn, New York. Ellsworth and Kruse are co-directors of smudge studio, an art collaborative founded in 2005. smudge works across graphic and web design, data and field research, public pedagogy and communication (including blogging), and aesthetic response. They use media to visualize or “signal” invisible forces (earth forces as well human forces) that shape natural and built environments with great consequence, but about which there is little cultural awareness. smudge’s current projects invent ways to think and act at junctures of public media design and use, the social production of knowledge, and disruptive change. They translate abstract and complex ideas, situations, and data into images, objects, experiences and environments that support experimental thinking. Within smudge’s hybrid practice, they are concerned with how to invent aesthetic provocations that assist humans in feeling for themselves the reality of contemporary forces and scales of change (natural and human-made).

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  1. […] array of more abstract ideas about the permeable boundaries between nature and society. Dredge is where human and geologic timescales collide and serves as a great metaphor for the Sisyphean (and profoundly ironic) task of controlling […]

  2. […] Systems,” Jennifer Gabrys (2009) talks about how sinks that contain waste are also spills. Making the Geologic Now (2013) highlights the increased presence of geological realities in everyday life, including types […]

  3. […] Making The Geologic Now can be purchased or downloaded from Smudge Studios. They also offer a place to contribute your own sightings of the geologic. […]

  4. […] Making The Geologic Now could be bought or downloaded from Smudge Studios. Additionally they supply a spot to contribute your own sightings of the geologic. […]

57 Comments


  1. Daniel Pereira, 2 years ago Reply

    Hi. I would like a copy of the printed version. Thanks


  2. neva goodwin, 2 years ago Reply

    I would like to order the printed version – how shall I do so?


  3. Sheri Schumacher, 2 years ago Reply

    Hello, I would like to pre order a copy of the printed version of the book.
    thanks


  4. Eileen Joy, 2 years ago Reply

    As soon as the print version of the book is available [likely mid- to late December], we shall re-contact everyone who leaves a message here and share the link for purchasing the book. Signed, the punctum development team


  5. Chad Shomura, 2 years ago Reply

    I’d love to preorder a copy. So excited for this publication!


  6. Anibal, 2 years ago Reply

    Hi there: please let me know. Thanks.


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  9. Thomas Comerford, 2 years ago Reply

    I would like to order a printed copy! Congrats to all involved! Paul Lloyd Sargent rules.


  10. LeRoy Moore, 2 years ago Reply

    Please let me know when the book is published.


  11. Ben Brace, 2 years ago Reply

    Yep I would like a printed copy please! thanks


  12. eli, 2 years ago Reply

    interested in the pdf link and the publication, thanks.


  13. Sheridan, 2 years ago Reply

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  14. Ricardo, 2 years ago Reply

    Yes, I too would like to order the print version.


  15. Claire Stewart, 2 years ago Reply

    Would like to order copies for our University Library please!


  16. Susan Clements, 2 years ago Reply

    More info on ordering the printed book? Thanks!


  17. Eileen Joy, 2 years ago Reply

    Hi Everyone: just a quick update to say that we are very close to finishing the e-version of the book [both a downloadable PDF version of the print book as well as a special interactive web-based version of the book], which will be available tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 4th, and shortly thereafter, we’ll have info. on how to purchase a print version. Best, Eileen Joy, Director, punctum books


  18. Jan Kruse, 2 years ago Reply

    I want to order one printed copy, Please!


  19. Chris, 2 years ago Reply

    I would love a printed copy


  20. Nina Dubois, 2 years ago Reply

    Hi there.

    I would LOVE a printed copy. (One of my photos is in the book – courtesy of the Land Arts of the American West program- p.61 !)


  21. Thomas, 2 years ago Reply

    Please let me know when the printed version is available


  22. Ruth Ozeki, 2 years ago Reply

    I would like info on the print books. Thanks!


  23. Erika Osborne, 2 years ago Reply

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  24. Agnes Murray, 2 years ago Reply

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  25. Jane Bennett, 2 years ago Reply

    I would like to buy a print version of Making the Geologic Now. Thanks!


  26. Edward Morris, 2 years ago Reply

    Would like to pre-order printed book, please.


  27. Richard Irvine, 2 years ago Reply

    This looks fantastic, I would also like to pre-order a paper copy


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  29. michelle lalonde, 2 years ago Reply

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  30. Valeria Federighi, 2 years ago Reply

    Hi, I would like to preorder 2 printed copies please. Thank you


  31. Michael, 2 years ago Reply

    I’d like to order the book. Thanks!


  32. tammy pittman, 2 years ago Reply

    I’d like to order the printed version and, depending on the price, order some to sell at the gallery.


  33. Eric Church, 2 years ago Reply

    This is wonderful work and I would love a printed version (actually 2).


  34. Bryan Wilson, 2 years ago Reply

    I’d like to get at least 5 copies of the printed version of the book.
    Let me know when and how!


  35. Janike Kampevold Larsen, 2 years ago Reply

    I would like to order 3 printed copies of the book.
    Thank you.


  36. Rob, 2 years ago Reply

    Hi – this looks fantastic, I’d like to order a printed version.


  37. John Drew, 1 year ago Reply

    I would like a print version too- thanks.


  38. Lindsay Bremner, 1 year ago Reply

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  39. Mitchell Rasor, 1 year ago Reply

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  40. Patty, 1 year ago Reply

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  41. Andrew Alden, 1 year ago Reply

    Looking forward to the announcement of the print version.


  42. Chris Rose, 1 year ago Reply

    would like to order a print copy.
    great project! will be recommending to people.


  43. Lindsay Bremner, 1 year ago Reply

    When will the print copies be available?


    • Eileen Joy, 1 year ago Reply

      Hi Lindsay [and everyone]: the print version IS forthcoming; it’s just taking a little longer than we had anticipated, but we’re almost there!


  44. Ryan Thompson, 1 year ago Reply

    Yes please.


  45. Beth Royall, 1 year ago Reply

    We would like to purchase a print copy.


  46. Ryan Dewey, 1 year ago Reply

    I’ll take a book when they become available.


  47. kb, 1 year ago Reply

    dot for preorder!


  48. Martin Pavlinic, 1 year ago Reply

    I would love to preorder a copy of the book. Thanks so much.


  49. Diana Hayes, 1 year ago Reply

    Hi, I would like to order a print copy of this book. Thank you!


  50. Debbie Grubb, 2 years ago Reply

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  51. sylvia watanabe, 1 year ago Reply

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