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“unearth” [2015]



In one room of this two-part exhibition, multiple rocks are arranged to be viewed through a glass partition. These rocks contain numerous fossils, onto which acid is dripped to cause a chemical reaction that makes them melt and thereby release carbon dioxide. The formation of gas in this chemical reaction is accompanied by minute sounds, which are picked up by microphones, amplified, and sent to speakers set up in the second exhibition space.
The work utilizes fusulina, a type of rock (limestone) produced through the fossilization of small marine organisms that have vanished during the greatest mass extinction in the history of the earth 250 million years ago. These fusulina are made up of organisms that formed their bodies by way of biological fixation of undersea carbon dioxide in carbon compounds, which means that carbon dioxide—once part of the organisms’ bodies—is stored in these fossils. Dripping dilute acid onto them causes the fossils to melt, and release carbon dioxide into the exhibition space.
Contained at the same time within the fossils is the transformation process of the organisms from organic into inorganic matter as they changed with time due to geological forces. The artist perceives in these fossils a process that exceeds by far the timeframe of human life, and while observing how fossilized organisms are reverted to carbon dioxide that originally was part of their bodies, examines how we can sense the aspects of time and matter stored in these fossils by listening to the sounds they make.

*This work used Kuzuu limestone, which was formed approx. 270 million years ago in Sano, Tochigi Prefecture.

Equipment cooperation: FOSTEX
Cooperation: MORI Junpei



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