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    Mineral Intimacy Reading List

  • About

    A Symposium/workshop day as an experimental journey into a world of minerals, matter, things, ecology, thought and intimacy, with contributions by filmmaker Duncan Marquiss, Geographer Prof. Hayden Lorimer, ecological and spiritual activist Alastair McIntosh and artist Jasper Coppes.

    Physical matter is inherently slow. It’s processes of change are of an entirely different timescale than our own fleeting lives. Geological formations, the movement of tectonic plates, the birth of mountains seems endlessly more patient, stable and permanent than the pace with which we move through the world, as we make our plans, develop ideas and opinions.

    The things that we create out of nearly inert plastic, rubber, wood, stone, metal, glass, ceramic lasts much longer than our ephemeral thoughts. A part of the attraction that things have on us might come from the reassurance that at least some things don’t pass away as easily as we do. But the spell that things cast upon us might have a deeper relevance than their slowness alone. The substance of our bones is pretty much made of the same stuff as the white cliffs of chalky shorelines. In that sense we are part-matter too and our bodies are part of the slow rhythms of the physical world. If we leave aside, just for a moment, the veils of language and definition, of reasoning and intellect, we might start to open up for other dimensions of belonging. There might be something dormant of the materiality that connects us not merely through our desire to live forever, but more directly through our own physicality. But the minerals of the Cuillin Mountains that circulate in our bloodstream not only strengthen our bones, they also undergo a similar process of erosion as these old mountains.

    With a sense of belonging to the geological rhythms of the earth, we can move from the mineral world into the territory of flora and of fauna, without loosing touch with the mineral matter that connects them and us. To observe a herd of deer in Wester Ross, or download the data of nature in fossils, when tracing the flight of a hawk in Aberdeenshire, we might be drawing an inventory of the landscape’s connections as much as we are connect- ing the dots on the map of our own internal psyche. From this intimate encounter between selfhood and the environment a more conscientious dwelling could begin to take form.

    The symposium Mineral Intimacy took place at the Studio Pavilion, at House for an Art Lover, Bellahouston Park as part of the exhibition Delaying Tactics.

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