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Rockhounding, Seafaring, and Other Material Tales for the End of the World

Abstract

In the face of accelerated environmental degradation and climate instability, the future of the Earth and of all life on earth is difficult to visualize. Therefore, the different mediums through which we consider environmental issues are just as important as the actions we take to address them. Focusing on three projects combining art, science, and activism, this article suggests a compilation of material tales. They tell stories of plastic rocks and aluminum nuggets where the protagonists are partly finely crafted objects, partly waste materials, and sometimes both at once. Artists Kelly Jazvac, Yesenia Thibeault-Picazo, and the collective Studio Swine collaborate with scientists to offer different ways of experiencing environmental issues through objects and their materiality. They do so by cumulating gestures of making and collecting as a strategy to cope with our current epoch and to imagine its unfolding

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