ISSUE 61 — SUMMER 2023
Time, stillness, hardness, remembrance—rocks are solidifications. Igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic—they are aggregations of minerals that regardless of their genesis contain infinite compressed landscapes that have formed over billions of years. Layers and strata—each embedded in the other, pushing against and resisting at once, for eternity. Some much force ingrained in perfect stillness.
Oftentimes, gaining any insights into this petrified universe entails destruction. Geology, petrology, mineralogy—we have devised different ways to crack open their mysteries and read the codes. Stony mineral essence is key to form and colors. What we can see is down to scale, the myopia of our anthropocentric gaze, and our willingness. How far, how close, and through which lenses should we look? How close is too close is only dictated by the episteme and what it allows us to see and say.
Following the previous installment (Earthly Surfacing), Antennae: Earthly Mattering continues our journey deeper into the strata of knowledge and matter that define our existence as earthlings. Among all the extremely valuable contributions to this issue, those by playwright Manuela Infante and artist Jenny Kendler perfectly bookend the content. From altering scales and leading inquiries into deep time as an embodied dimension, they both pose radical questions about our relationships with memory and meaning.
As always, I am indebted to all contributors, Antennae’s Academic board, and everyone else who has tirelessly lent their skills and time to the making of this issue.
Dr. Giovanni Aloi
Editor in Chief
in this issue
Helen J. Bullard
Gracelynn Chung-yan Lau
Cynthia Haveson Veloric
text and Images: Jenny Kendler
Burned books are typically
associated with censorship, and here, Kendler equates the inaction of global leadership against climate change with the censorship of the scientific community. With their warnings gone unheeded, these books are no different from other unwanted consumer products.
Devour the land
conversation: Makeda Best
and Giovanni Aloi
Featuring approximately 160 photographs from 60 artists, the exhibition Devour the Land: War and the American Landscape Photography Since 1970 held at Harvard Art Museum invited visitors to explore the impacts of military activity on the American landscape—and how photography supports activism in response to these effects.
art, sustainability, and the climate emergency
Andrea Conte is an Italian artist, activist and environmental engineer specializing in sustainability. His conceptual imagery is characterized by the presence of natural elements, such as rocks and minerals. Through these symbols, Conte intertwines ecology, urban planning and environmental sustainability.
text and images: Andrea Conte (Andreco Studio)
text and images: Darya Tsymbalyuk
This artistic research focuses on vegetal histories from and about Donbas, Ukraine, a land which once was an exemplary mining region
of the Soviet Union and where in 2014 the ongoing war broke out. The study engages with scholarship in paleobotany and explores the vegetal past of coal, the fossil at the heart of Donbas’ history.
Joan Jonas, Moving Off the Land II, a consideration of strange strangers
text: Cynthia Haveson Veloric
images: Joan Jonas
Artist Joan Jonas’s multi-media
exhibition Moving Off the Land II transports the viewer into a liquid world where beautiful and intelligent creatures demonstrate their agency.
in conversation: Elizabeth Johnson, Kristoffer Whitney, Hannah Dickinson, Helen J. Bullard
This dialogue has emerged from
a project funded by the Lever- hulme Trust called Circulatory Entanglements: Marine Biomate- rials and Paradoxes in Ocean Governance. The project explores how marine organisms figure in contradictory narratives of ocean futures.
Earth my body,
water my blood
text & images: Gracelynn Chung-yan Lau
Will there be rooted belonging
if home was a colony built on reclaimed land fill? If connecting with the earth is seeking support for healing, are nature-based therapies “resourcing” the earth just like the colonists?
In-human appetites and mineral becomings
text: Callum Bradley and Georgia Perkins images: Caitlin Berrigan
The landscape, environmental and aesthetic, is constituted in and by transformative alliances, where witnessing becomes
wit(h)nessing. The reparative potential of environmental justice to attend to world-wounds, evokes a shared horizon staked in the process of destabilizing a singular gaze.
Being-in-the- breathable: atmospheres of the Anthropocene
text and images: Robert Bean and Barbara Lounder
Being-in-the-Breathable, a collaborative artwork by Robert Bean and Barbara Lounder, was introduced in 2017 for the Contexts International Festival of Ephemeral Art in Sokolowsko Poland. Being- in-the-Breathable: An Annotated Walk responded to the earth’s atmosphere as the last Commons shared by human and non-human entities. visual essay is about the first two works in the series.
Robert Smithson: becoming geological
text: Rory O’Dea images: Robert Smithson
Robert Smithson envisioned art
as a “catastrophe of mind and matter,” a physical metaphor that moves one beyond the abstract grids of intelligibility into an abyssal materiality.
A New Nature
in conversation: Mark Dorf, Paul CaraDonna, and Giovanni Aloi
Integrating gaming and surveillance aesthetics with both animations and footage of the Rocky Mountain region, Mark Dorf’s A New Nature collapses the barriers of what’s real in a way that echoes our digital consumption of the world.
Dorion Sagan’s thermodynamics of life the iron eaters
in conversation: Dorion Sagan and Ken Rinaldo
Self-described as an artist stuck in the body of a science writer, the writer, theorist, and independent scholar, Dorion Sagan is author
or coauthor of twenty-five books translated into fifteen languages, including several with biologist Lynn Margulis on planetary biology and evolution by symbiosis.
como convertirse en piedra
in conversation: Manuela Infante and Giovanni Aloi
Como Convertirse en Piedra furthers the task of envisioning a non- anthropocentric, non-humanist theater. A non-human theater is a critical endeavor, but also a speculative practice with other forms of organization, other forms of politics, by means of which we try to enact a kind of decolonization of the theatrical practices.
"From unread technical manuals to forgotten best-sellers of decades past, these literary artifacts hold a printed history of urgent pleas for action, largely ignored in a world consumed by an economic death cult."
"I started collecting soil and water from ten urban parks, wondering if paint- ing with soil could help people to let the earth touch us intimately, to remind us of our ecological belongings. But I found barely any soil."
Gracelynn Chung-yan Lau
"All real systems are exposed to gravity, which not only knows no borders, but can create order, producing stars and their new elements from which life itself might arise as geochemistry (or its extraterrestrial equivalent) becomes biochemistry."
"I began to sense a need to counterbalance the universalism of West- ern philosophy with a more situated dimension. I began to think about the riots in Santiago that took place in 2019—stones were hurled at police, and they became weapons!"