Rocky Climates

Rocky Futures exhibition at T2M conference at Konkuk Academy of Mobility Humanities, Seoul, 25th-28th October 2023.


Rocky Futures is a collaboration between Cemore and artists collective Rocky Climates, for the 20th anniversary of Cemore.

What are the future mobilities of rocks? How can gesture or action make rockiness tangible and of immediate concern? How might sound, or oral narratives, mobilise rocks and rockiness?

In a series of 9 live video events for Cemore’s 20th Anniversary, artists will introduce their local and mobile rocky environments to a worldwide audience. Through live Zoom conversations with rocks, hosted from the field on laptops and mobiles, each artist has devised methods to explore physical, social, cultural, historical, political, environmental and lively mobilities. They use a deep knowledge of materiality drawn from their art practice to devise ways to make the rock more ‘present’ at a distance, through strategies such as story-telling, touch, lens, sound and speculation. The conversations will be available live to conference participants online and in Seoul.

Rocks are on the move: from tectonic plates and volcanic lava to glacial erratics, fossil fuels, stolen marbles, slippery gravel and sand stuck between your toes. The mobility of rocks shapes our worlds, and is inextricably connected to climate, from its formation on geological timescales to its extraction for fuel, and components that enable every electronic interaction. Rocks form lively relations and humans, animals and plants all shape and form geology in an ongoing shape-shifting dialogue. Injustice is also embedded in rock, in practices that exploit both human labour and natural resource. Rocks are often characterised as being stable and solid ground, but they are active and mobile agents in our rocky futures.

The works each develop experimental methods for experiencing place at a distance, using performative actions in geological field sites to enable distant participants to experience the rich materiality of the site. The research reconsiders the nature of copresence, as shared expectations of proximity and distance change in response to a need for reduced air travel, and demonstrates that art and mobilities approach to ‘wicked’ problems can help to make visible the impact of complex systems in everyday situations.

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