Geobiology, Nina Canell και Sophia Roosth, δημοσίευση στο Art in America [18/11/2022]Marilena Pateraki
For “Tectonic Tender,” Nina Canell’s recent exhibition at the Berlinische Galerie, the Swedish artist spread seven tons of seashells across the gallery floor. Then, she invited visitors to walk across them, crushing and crunching shells beneath their feet as they meandered. After their walk, they encountered Energy Budget (2017–18), a 16-minute video Canell made with her Swedish collaborator Robin Watkins. It showed shell-less mollusks—leopard slugs—dragging themselves across electrical switchboards intercut with striking scenes of colossal concrete towers. Taken together, these elements gesture toward calcite. The construction industry often sources the mineral, which is essential to making modern concrete, from limestone deposits that comprise the shells of marine mollusks. To discuss this surprising supply chain, Canell met with anthropologist Sophia Roosth on Zoom. An expert in the life sciences, Roosth is at work on a book about geobiology, a discipline that looks at how biotic and geologic systems affect one another. Roosth is an associate professor at New York University and the author of Synthetic: How Life Got Made (2017). Her research often asks the question: what is life? Below, the two discuss the process behind and implications of biomineralization—the ways living organisms form and accumulate minerals.
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