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ISSUE 60 — SPRING 2023

It is no coincidence that 'Earthly Surfacing' should also be Antennae’s issue number 60. We celebrate this moment in the life of the journal with a year-long project dedicated to the Earth and the many conceptions that the word earth entails from cartography, to landscape, soil, lands, and beyond. 

'Earthly Surfacing' focuses on questions of epistemology and representation of the land. Seen by who? Seen how—through which institutional or other lenses? Represented with what materials? Rejecting or embracing the aesthetics of whose ideological traditions and cultures? In this context, the term surfacing reflects the notion of representing or teasing out externality; the act of surfacing as a process of giving an outward finish to something as well as the idea of emergence, in this case of ideas and ideologies that the act of surfacing always entails. Surfacing thus works as an umbrella term for a range of practices and approaches to the representation of the land as conceived from multiple cultural standpoints. To emerge, to bring to the surface, to make something previously hidden appear in plain sight. The earth's surfaces are essentially interfaces, and negotiating our engagement with them might at times entail a level of implied and inescapable superficiality and fictitiousness. At others, reaching deeper into these surfacing processes might reveal entanglements and ecologies that have often been side-lined and overlooked by the institutional gaze.

Dr. Giovanni Aloi
Editor in Chief

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in this issue

Janine Antoni

Diane Burko 

Thomas Busciglio-Ritter

Sophie Chao

Assaf Evron 

Shambhobi Ghosh

James Kelly

Victoria King

Lisa Le Feuvre

Laura Malacart

Joey Orr 

Cindy Qiao

Miriam Seidel 

Frances Whitehead

Derrick Woods-Morrow

Behold the
white storm

 

text: Thomas Busciglio-Ritter

Thomas Busciglio-Ritter examines

the entanglement of weather, physicality, and racial discourses in the early- 19th-century landscape paintings of British-American
artist Thomas Cole (1801-1848). Contrary to studies framing Cole as a “proto-environmentalist”, this essay argues that the artist’s long adherence to the sublime as a pictorial mode.

A place called Utopia

 

in conversation: Victoria King and

Giovanni Aloi

 

A Place Called Utopia, at Saul
Hay Gallery in Manchester, is an exhibition of artwork by noted contemporary Australian Aboriginal artists curated by Victoria King, including Emily Kngwarreye and Minnie Pwerle. The collection celebrates art from the remote Aboriginal outstation of Utopia, 270 kilometres northeast of Alice Springs in Australia’s semi-arid, red centre.

In the shadow of the palms

Centered on Sophie Chao’s new

book, In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua this conversation considers the empirical and intellectual context and contributions of the work, its ethical and conceptual insights into the moral subjectivity of plants as actors and resources, and forms of radical imagi- nation, hope, care, and justice.

 

in conversation: Sophie Chao

and Giovanni Aloi

An ecocritical reading of the folktales from
the sundarbans

text: Shambhobi Ghosh

The Sundarbans Archipelago is known for its fragile ecosystem. Mainstream literature and media often hold local people responsible for the islands’ ecological decline, or ‘erase’ human presence altogether. However, Sundarbans’ folktales tell a different story.

Where we find ourselves

 

in conversation: Janine Antoni

and Joey Orr

This conversation between artist

Janine Antoni and curator Joey
Orr took place at the end of a site visit and long installation process. Antoni brings her long artistic commitment to embodiment into the context of a biological field station, inviting the public to return to the body through intimately relating to the land.

From sea to source:
The journey of the Biobío River

 

text: James Kelly
 

James Kelly follows the journey

of the Biobío river in southern
Chile, from its mouth in the city of Concepción up to its source in the Andes, homeland of the Pehuenche indigenous people. This is the first part of a larger work that reflects on the position of humans with respect to the different rhythms inherent to the landscapes.

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"The sublime dread of the mountains gradually became a mass marketing instrument."

Thomas Busciglio-Ritter 

p 57

"Aboriginal Australians have the longest, continuous land-based culture in the world, over 65,000 years.For them, Australia is a complex energetic web of criss-crossing, interconnected Dreaming paths."

Victoria King, p 71

"Grief and loss are important starting points in the practice of environmental anthropology, because they are so much part of the lived experience and everyday dynamics of the communities and peoples whom many of us study."

Sophie Chao, p 92

"In looking at the nature that has been stripped away of all of its danger and threat as it once did, it’s evidence of human dominance, echoing a long-lost power."

Cindy Qiao, p 152

p 16

Our land

 

text and images: Cindy Qiao
 

Our Land by Cindy Qiao is a

series of portraits of the fleeting layers of leaves, fruits, seeds, and twigs on the ground in the area between two steps in urban green spaces. It’s the soil that one walks upon without seeing it. It’s the remaining earth in public parks, botanical gardens, and sidewalk tree beds in manmade cities.

The land next time

 

text and images: Derrick Woods-Morrow
 

Who owns land and by what means? Derrick Woods-Morrow’s The Sand is Ours compiles an archive of reflections during a summer on Fire Island – a cascading paradise of boardwalks, utopian ideals like no other, romantic hope for inclusionary spaces – none of which actually exist.

Collaborative Toponymy:
street names
as linguistic fossils

 

text and images: Laura Malacart

London-based artist Laura Malacart focussed on a plot of land and researched its histories, ecologies, industries, arts, languages and spirituality and, in collaboration with a range of local communities and individuals, she created an ethically grounded narrative.

Phytophiliac

 

in conversation: Frances Whitehead and Giovanni Aloi

Questions of participation,

sustainability, and cultural change animate Frances Whitehead’s work as she considers the surrounding community, the landscape, and the interdependency of multiple ecologies. Whitehead’s practice integrates art and sustainability, traversing disciplines to engage other communities.

Beyond land art

 

in conversation: Lisa Le Feuvre and

Giovanni Aloi

Committed to communicating and testing ideas, Lisa Le Feuvre has curated exhibitions in museums and galleries across Europe. Here, Le Feuvre talks about the work and legacy of Holt/Smithson and the future of Land Art in the Anthropocene.

Painting
the anthropogenic landscape

 

in conversation: Diane Burko and

Miriam Seidel

Diane Burko’s concern for the future of our environment and issues of climate change led her to develop series of ongoing projects, developing visual strate- gies in paintings and photography that use historical comparisons of global glacial change through.

Collages for Mies

 

text and images: Assaf Evron

Assaf Evron discusses his large- scale photographic intervention with Mies Van Der Rohe designed high-rises in Chicago. In 2019, following Mies’ own collage work, Evron installed a massive cliff pho- tograph onto the windows of the iconic modernist building evoking the complicated relationships between modernist architecture and the natural world.

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"We humans are nature, and we humans adulterate nature - which is to make ourselves impure, as we are nature. But none of those words sit well with me."

Lisa Le Feuvre, p 214

"The fungible qualities of blackness and queerness are mutable and opaque, particularly in locations where the boundary between land and sea is shoaled."

Derrick Woods-Morrow 

p 163

"Authoring street names via a creative practice introduces an alter- native process, ethos and research method to what would otherwise be a standardised process, where the power of naming remains the exclusive do- main of council officers and developers."

Laura Malacart, p 176

"The printed cliff appears as a reflection of an absent topography in the flatness of the Midwest. An imaginary mountainous landscape Mies left behind in his homeland of Germany and replicated again and again in his American works."

Assaf Evron, p 252

p 16
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