Chamber of Displacement

Audio guide by Hunter Longe for the exhibiton Uncertain Futures
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Chapter 1

Your ears are binaural vortexes, into which these words are pulled.

You stand inside one of the two halls of the Lausanne Cantonal Museum of Geology. You are in a space filled with objects taken from across the surface of the planet. All of them have been removed from their original context. You are in a chamber of displacement.

The voice you are hearing, is carried to your ears through thin copper wires, into small vibrating metal disks encased in plastic. This displaced voice will guide you into the museum.

Now, forgetting the old meanings of words, ‘geology’ is defined as the study of Earth. When scientists study the planet, they reduce it into segments and concepts, categorizing, naming and gridding-off existence. Somewhere along the lines, a mix of Latin and Greek has been imposed as the language in which all names shall be given. Because of this, the past has leaked into the future. Scientists have encrypted double meanings and ancient mythologies directly into the names of things.

Geo in Greek, means Earth, but it stems from the word Gaia, which was the name of the Greek goddess of Earth.[1] Knowing this, you are now standing simultaneously in a museum dedicated to the study of the planet, as well as an elaborate shrine to the Earth Goddess.

You are in strange place, in which an unspoken power can be felt. For it is evident that a certain charm within these stones and petrified bones has drawn humans to pick them up, to covet them, and to erect special glass cases for them. Sensing their power, you might begin to decipher “the less communicative, still more passive, wholly a-temporal, cold, volcanic poetry of the rocks, each one a word spoken, how long ago by the earth itself.”[2]

Chapter one over.



[1] https://www.etymonline.com/word/Gaia, https://www.etymonline.com/word/geo

[2] Le Guin, Ursula K. (2014) Keynote Speech given at Conference, Anthropocene: Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet Conference, UC Santa Cruz, https://vimeo.com/97364872 (5:50 - 6:57 min.)



Chapter 2

Your name is a sound to which these words are added.

You stand in a darkened box, a room within a room. In this space, think of your name.

Approach the vitrines of glowing rocks. Notice that each stone has a name and that most names end with i t e. In Latin and Greek, this ending adds the meaning: “connected with or belonging to.”[3] Find the stone named Hydrozincite, indicated by a yellow sticker. Its name is a poem, into which your mind’s eye stares.

Hydro. Zinc. I. T. E.
Water points connected
Belonging to water prongs
Water points, prongs belong

Naming is one of the oldest and most widespread forms of magic. For if you know the “true name” of a thing, you exercise a certain power and control over it.[4] When naming is coupled with counting and numbering, the power wielded is increased. The sciences are quite plainly practices of identifying, quantifying and naming. As such, they seem to have provided certain humans with, at least the illusion of having, significant control over the surface of Earth. But most of the stones and minerals in these halls are much older than their names. They are older than any name, older than numbers, older even than the concept of time. And they will surely outlive us.[5]

Chapter two over.



[3]  https://www.etymonline.com/word/-ite, https://www.etymonline.com/word/geo-

[4]  “Naming magic is a worldwide, very wide-spread form of magic. If you know the true name of a thing, you have power over that thing or person. And that is just pure magic. There is no rational. There is nothing reasonable or rational in it. But it rings a bell in all of us I think. And that is the sort of thing a novelist works with, these deep intuitions that are not rational.”
Le Guin, Ursula K. (2013) Interviewed by Professor Michael Lucey, https://vimeo.com/97364872 (51:34 - 52:13 min.)

[5]  “... [T]he over-bright hills wait, with the infinite guile of the geological kingdom, for the organic world to end and a more vivid mineral realm to begin.”
Ballard, J.G. (1982) Myths of the Near Future, Granada Publishing LTD, London, UK, pg. 77



Chapter 3

Your blood is a resonant liquid body, into which these words echo. Mind to Mind. Mind through blood.[6]

The Greek word for blood, haima, is the root of the name hematite.[7] Hematite is an iron oxide (think of rust). Perhaps hematite simply gets the name from its often red color. Or maybe the name speaks to a more ancient, intuitive bodily knowledge: that we are of the earth.

In many languages, the word for world is dirt. Earth is both the name of the planet and the word for the materials that compose its lands.[8] In French, la Terre, in German, die Erde. Furthermore, the Latin word for soil, humus, shares the same root as the word human. Just as adam, meaning man in Hebrew, comes from adamah, the word for ground, specifically “red ground.” And dam (דם) in Hebrew even means “blood.”[9]

These deep linguistic links suggest an awareness of evolution embedded in the very names of things. For soil is decomposing dead organic matter and dissolved rock—the organisms and minerals from whom we have evolved. Without life, there would have been no soil on the early Earth, nor would there have been hematite. Only after bacteria began to produce free oxygen in the water and air, would iron oxidize and turn red.[10] Blood and hematite are the same color because they are composed of the same chemical elements—the result of a biological/mineral coevolution.

These materials of the earth, are inside you.


Shift your attention one window to the left and one window down.

Your brain is a magnet, into which these words are stored. Each syllable, a bit, jagged and crystalline. These words are now data, digitally recorded and stored on a portable magnetic hard drive.

Like ancient microbes and early plants, whose oxygen brought forth hematite and magnetite on the surface of Earth, your own living cells produce magnetite in your brain.[11] Magnetite is an iron oxide. As its archaic name suggests, magnetite itself can be magnetized. Biomagnetism has been observed in many animal species. Birds use it as a compass to navigate by the Earth’s magnetic fields.[12] But recent studies suggest that magnetite even plays a role in the creation and storage of memories within the neocortex of mammal brains.[13]

In building computers that rely on magnetic memory, it is as if we have intuited our own internal workings before even knowing concretely how they function. We seem only semi-conscious of the degree to which our tools mimic us. But perhaps it is we who unknowingly mimic a deeper, earthly magnetism, an ambient mineral mind.[14] For the device in your hand, is a stone that speaks.

Chapter three over.



[6]  “…she had met him, the dark figure near the tower rock over the sea, and had heard a voice that spoke in her blood.”
Le Guin, Ursula K. ([1966] 2015) Planet of Exile, from the collection of novels, Worlds of Exile and Illusion, Orion Publishing Group, London, UK, pg. 151

[7]  https://www.etymonline.com/word/hematite

[8]  Le Guin, Ursula K. ([1972] 2015) The Word for World is Forrest, Orion Publishing Group, London, UK pg. 72

[9]  https://www.etymonline.com/word/earth, https://www.etymonline.com/word/human, https://www.etymonline.com/word/humus, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adamah

[10]  “In addition to evidence invisible to the naked eye, the origin of oxygen-producing photosynthesis changed forever the composition and appearance of ancient rocks on a vast scale. Today, the manufacture of steel requires enormous quantities of iron ore, most of which comes from so-called banded iron formations in very ancient rocks (2.0 to 3.5 billion years of age). These iron rich layers contain an abundance of the minerals hematite (Fe2O3) and magnetite (Fe3O4), which impart a distinctive red colouration to the rock. These oxides of iron formed in ancient seas when molecular oxygen first came into contact with dissolved ferrous iron, oxidizing it to the ferric state, at which point it precipitated out of the solution as a rusty mist to settle on the sea floor. This process continued on a large scale for nearly 1.5 billion years. It has been estimated that the amount of oxygen locked up in these deposits of iron is roughly 20 times as much as in today's atmosphere. The only microbes to carry out oxygen-producing photosynthesis are cyanobacteria, so the presence of banded iron formations provides additional geological evidence both for cyanobacteria and for photosynthesis.”
Davies, Paul & Kenrick, Paul (2004) Fossil Plants, Smithsonian Books, Washington, Natural History Museum, London, pg. 11-12

[11]  “Using an ultrasensitive superconducting magnetometer in a clean-lab environment, we have detected the presence of ferromagnetic material in a variety of tissues from the human brain.”
Kirschvink, Joseph; et al. (1992) Magnetite biomineralization in the human brain, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, pg. 7683–7687
https://www.pnas.org/content/89/16/7683.short

[12]  Wiltschko, Roswitha; Wiltschko, Wolfgang (2014) Sensing magnetic directions in birds: radical pair processes involving cryptochrome, Biosensors, Basel, Switzerland, 4 (3): pg. 221-42
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4264356/

[13]  Banaclocha, Marcos Arturo Martínez, Et al. (2009) Long-term Memory in Brain Magnetite, Medical-Hypotheses, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 74, pg. 254-257
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030698770900629X?via%3Dihub

[14]  “Clear indications of panpsychist doctrines are evident in early Greek thought. One of the first Presocratic philosophers of ancient Greece, Thales (c. 624–545 BCE) deployed an analogical argument for the attribution of mind that tends towards panpsychism. The argument depends upon the idea that enminded beings are self-movers. Thales notes that magnets and, under certain circumstances, amber, can move themselves and concludes that they therefore possess minds.”
Goff, Philip, Seager, William, Allen-Hermanson, Sean (2017, 2001) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, entry on Panpsychism, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/panpsychism/#PanpHistWestPhil



Chapter 4

Your body is a bed upon which these words lay.

Direct your attention to the object with wavy stripes of brown, black and grey. This is a slice a stromatolite. As you observe its shapes through the glass, it becomes an extension of you, and you an extension of it.[15]These layers are the fossil remains of our most distant evolutionary cousins yet to have been unearthed.[16] They were formed in the shallow waters of seas and lakes by Cyanobacteria—the first organisms to have developed photosynthesis, and a home-building technology similar to that of corals and clams.[17] Stromatolites, translated from Greek as “stone mattresses,” are beds from which life’s first dreams radiate out into the future.[18]

Imagining memories expressed in stone,
through the holes of an old clam’s home.

Now look at the sculpture to the left of the stromatolite. It is composed of four layers of Plexiglas, with stones embedded in each of the three darker layers. The stones have holes that were bored out by Piddock clams. Rocks with holes like this, known to some as “hag stones” or “adder stones,” are surrounded by various myths and ancient lore. In addition to warding off evil spirits, it was thought that looking through a hag stone could provide a view into hidden realms and other worlds.[19]

So, closing one of your eyes, and aligning the other with the holes in the three hag stones, look through them and through evolution, into the past. Time is collapsed through the clam-hole portal. Amongst “pillow lavas,” you see lumpy stromatolites, poking out of the water at low tide, along the edge of an Archean ocean.[20] Allow your attention to be transported to this place, two and half billion years ago. The moon is so much closer, the days are so much shorter. Without plants or mineral diversity, the Earth is much less colorful.[21] Standing here, you realize there are no such thing as feet. Looking, you realize there are no such thing as eyes. Listening, you realize ears do not yet exist.

Chapter four over.



[15]  “It was strange to see Takver take a leaf into her hand, or even a rock. She became an extension of it: it of her.”
Le Guin, Ursula K., ([1974] 1982) The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, Granada Publishing Limited, Lodon, UK, pg. 158

[16]  Schopf, J. William (1999) Cradle of Life, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, pg. 85-89

[17]  “I used to think about computers much more separate from me, as the computer, that I push the button and it would do something. I see technology as becoming so ubiquitous and so integrated at some point as to not be really distinguishable from our own selves and our own bodies—depending on how we end up making computers and integrating them into ourselves. I mean how does the clam regard the mechanism of its body that makes the hard shell? Does it think of it as part of it, or does it think of it as a machine that builds its house?”
John F. Simon, Jr. in an interview with Erik Davis on the Podcast, Expanding Mind, 12/01/2016.
https://techgnosis.com/spiritual-drawing/
(49:48 - 50:23 min.)

[18]  https://www.etymonline.com/word/stroma/
https://www.etymonline.com/word/-lite/
Atwood, Margaret (2011) Stone Mattress, originally published in the New Yorker magazine, Dec. 19 & 26 Issue
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/12/19/stone-mattress

[19]  https://celticawitch.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/h-is-for-hag-stone/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adder_stone

[20]  Schopf, J. William (1999) Cradle of Life, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, pg. 90

[21]  Ibid. pg. 91



Chapter 5

Your pores are openings, into which these words take root:

She brings the green leaf from the stone,
From heart of rock clear water running
[22]

Perhaps “she” is Terra, the goddess of Roman mythology, from whom the Latin and French names for our planet originate. For her to bring the first forests into existence, it took billions of years.[23] Yet in the age of human intervention, everything feels eerily accelerated. Using assembly-line techniques and algorithms, the company Afforestt, claims they can grow a matured forest in a mere ten years.[24]

Opposed to the growth a forest, in time and material trajectory, is the process of petrification—the majestically slow transformation of organic material into stone. To visualize this process, direct your attention to the object on the shelf in the center of the case.

This particular object is most rare. It is a partial pseudomorph, or “false form,” in which copper is replacing wood—an accidental collaboration between humans and metals.[25] The word “copper” comes from Cyprium, the Latin name for the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.[26] Coincidentally, this object was found on that very island. Some 2500 years ago, humans abandoned wooden supports inside the tunnels of an ancient mine.[27] Deep in the island, water containing dissolved copper, seeped through rock walls and into the pores of the wood, whose form it began to take.

Now, looking at the much older, red and yellow-hued slice of fully petrified wood, bellow the pseudomorph, imagine life as tree 230 million years ago. For this tree, before becoming entombed in volcanic ash, seems to have lived about as long as an average present-day human. Notice the two yellow markers on the glass. Listen to these words, spoken from the center of the tree to its outer ring:

Here I was born. There I died. It was only a moment for you.

Repeat the words to yourself:

Here I was born. There I died. It was only a moment for you.[28]

Chapter five over.



[22]  Le Guin, Ursula K., ([1974] 1982) The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, Granada Publishing Limited, Lodon, UK, pg. 46

[23]  3 billion years is roughly the time elapsed between the oldest fossil cyanobacteria (3,465 ± 5 million years old) and the oldest fossil forests of the late Devonian (around 390 million years old).
Schopf, J. William (1999) Cradle of Life, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, pg. 88
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devonian

[24]  Sharma, Shubhendu (2015) How to Grow a Forest Really, Really Fast, [Online] Available from: https://fellowsblog.ted.com/how-to-grow-a-forest-really-really-fast-d27df202ba09
[Accessed: 23 March, 2019]
https://www.afforestt.com/

[25]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudomorph

[26]  https://www.etymonline.com/word/copper

[27]  Cyprus Mines Corporation, an American company that started in 1916 on the island of Cyprus, bought the mine and seem to have reopened it in 1945. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus_Mines_Corporation

[28]  Vertigo (1958) [film] Hitchcock, Alfred, director, Paramount Pictures Corp. USA



Chapter 6

Your dreams are resonant chambers, into which these words will settle.

Everything Dreams. The play of form, of being, is the dreaming of substance. Rocks have their dreams, and the earth changes.[29]

Minerals are hypothesized to have been key catalysts, even templates for early organic life.[30] And the relationship has been reciprocal, because minerals form in “the new reactive pathways” opened by the living.[31] As you look at the brilliant colorful objects in the left portion of this case, consider that most of them have been brought into existence as the result of living systems.[32] Look at the deep emerald greens of malachite, emanating in concentric rings, frozen in dripping ooze, undulating in bubbly clouds; or the hard red crust of hexagonal vanadinite crystals; and the oranges of wulfenite. They are the word-units of a vast and reverberating material communication, messages sent between plant and mineral.

Zoom your attention to the three small objects just above the sticker indicating chapter 6. These talismanic sculptures consist of drawings on plastic, affixed to minerals. The colors and structures of the three minerals, have formed due to the oxygen released by the prehistoric bacteria and plants depicted in the drawings. These objects are time bridges.

Occurring between roughly 2.4 to 2.6 billion years ago, was a period known as the “great oxidation event,” after which, some 2500 new minerals formed. It was considered the most explosive growth period in mineral diversity, yet it pales in comparison to the rapid multiplication seen in the last few centuries. For some humans, those adept at reshaping the Earth’s surface, have produced “more than 180,000 inorganic crystalline compounds.”[33] Most have probably never before existed in universe. But they who name the stones, the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification, state that: “[a]nthropogenic substances, i.e., those made by Man, are not regarded as minerals.”[34] Of course, there is a grey area.

Move your attention to the group of specimens behind the three small artworks. These are a selection of new, “human-mediated” minerals. They are only deemed minerals because the human intervention in their creation was “inadvertent” or unconscious.[35] Wernerbaurite, oppenheimerite, pseudojohannite, these are the material dreams of humans. They never existed until the digging of mines left rocks deep underground exposed to the atmosphere. In some samples, the human/mineral interaction is further blurred. To the right you can see: Hydroromarchite on a coin found in a sunken ship, or a brick that has morphed into Langite. Furthest to the right, indicated by a hazmat symbol, is Trynityite. This is vitrified sand from the site of the first nuclear bomb test explosion. An entirely new stone on Earth, but not considered a mineral, because it is not “naturally occurring.”[36]

As contemporary scientists have begun to observe the extent of biologic and geologic coevolution, one begins to wonder: what is natural?[37] The minerals that form in our bodies and those we create unintentionally are natural, while those we make consciously are not? “Nature loses its nature when we look at it head on. We can only glimpse it anamorphically—as a distortion, a shapeless thing, or as the way in which other things lose their shape.”[38]

Chapter six over.



[29]  Le Guin, Ursula K., ([1971] 1984) The Lathe of Heaven, Avon Books, pg.143

[30]  The geochemical processes that led from a lifeless world to the chemical origin of life are not known. However, several scenarios for life’s origins on Earth rely explicitly on minerals as templates, catalysts, and/or metabolites (e.g., Hazen 2005, 2006).
Hazen, Robert M., et al. (2008) Mineral Evolution, American Mineralogist, Volume 93, pg. 1693–1720

[31]  “living organisms opened up new reaction pathways by which minerals formed that were not accessible in the abiotic world.”
Ibid.

[32]  “Prior to human activities, the most significant “punctuation event” in the diversity of crystalline compounds on Earth followed the Great Oxidation Event. Hazen et al. (2008) estimated that as many as two-thirds of Earth’s more than 5000 mineral species arose as a consequence of the biologically mediated rise of oxygen at ~2.4 to 2.2 Ga.”
Hazen, Robert M., et al. (2017) On the mineralogy of the “Anthropocene Epoch,” American Mineralogist, Volume 102, pg. 595–611

[33]  Ibid.

[34]  “Anthropogenic substances, i.e. those made by Man, are not regarded as minerals. However, there are other cases in which human intervention in the creation of a substance is less direct, and the borderline between mineral and non-mineral can be unclear. One such case is the occurrence of new substances that owe their origin, at least in part, to human activities such as mining or quarrying. If such substances are formed purely as a result of the exposure of existing rock or minerals to the atmosphere or to the effects of groundwater, they can generally be accepted as minerals. However, if their occurrence is due, at least in part, to the interaction of existing minerals with substances of non-geological origin such as blasting powder, corroded human artifacts or industrially contaminated water, then such products are not to be regarded as minerals.”
Nickel, E.H., and Grice, J.D. (1998) The IMA Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names: Procedures and guidelines on mineral nomenclature, Canadian Mineralogist, 36, pg. 17–18

[35]  Ibid.

[36]  “A mineral substance is a naturally occurring solid that has been formed by geological processes, either on earth or in extraterrestrial bodies (Nickel 1995a). A mineral species is a mineral substance with well- defined chemical composition and crystallographic properties, and which merits a unique name.”
Ibid.

[37]  “The third major era of Earth’s mineral evolution, which spans at least the last 3.5 billion years, is associated with biological activity and the coevolution of the geo- and biospheres.”
Hazen, Robert M., et al. (2008) Mineral Evolution, American Mineralogist, Volume 93, pg. 1693–1720

[38]  Eco-critic and philosopher person Timothy Morton, suggests to do away entirely with the concept of nature, which today only seems to exacerbate human-separatism and prevents a more wholistic worldview.
Morton, Timothy, (2007) Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics, Harvard University Press, pg. 63



Chapter 7

The plastic in your earphones, out of which these words flow, is made from the remains of ancient bodies.

The objects around you have been displaced, by humans, by the shifting of the continents and the weight of accumulation.

The illustration you see to the left, behind the two illuminated Plexiglas panels, is a dream, an imagination of what Europe might have looked like 300 million years ago. As plants and organic life died and sank to the bottom of swamps like this, they were covered in stagnant water and sediments. Building-up Layer upon layer over millions of years, pushing deeper and deeper, until intense heat and pressure transformed the organic material into gases and liquid petroleum. Petra, meaning “stone,” and oleum meaning “oil.”[39] Though any living thing could be transformed into petroleum, the oil that humans extract, is largely composed of algae and zooplankton, whose bodily remains settled in vast quantities on the floors of ancient seas.

The formerly-living not only fuel our vehicles, they are the substance from which all the plastics are made. The polyesters in your clothes and shoes, the polyethylenes that wrap your food, and the acrylic glass in these two panels. As you look at them, consider that the green glowing images of plants and plankton are engraved into the exhumed and transformed zombie bodies of their distant cousins.

Chapter seven over.



[39]  https://www.etymonline.com/word/petroleum



Chapter 8

Your lungs are expandable chambers, upon whose exhale, words are spoken.

Light data wavers out from the void,
Reaching Earth and soaking into plants,
Whose oxygen exhale is the gaseous vibrating tone of life.

Look at the photo of the green leaf. Notice the iridescent grainy glow of light upon it. This multicolored pixilation looks like digital noise, but in fact, it is direct sunlight refracting through the leaf’s waxy surface, like a million tiny prisms. It is an interference pattern, similar to the rainbow sheen of oil.

Not long after plants began to evolve leaves, some 410 million years ago, they entered a period of “adaptive radiation,” growing roots and colonizing the surfaces of dry land. Their flat leaf adaptation provided plants with an expansive solar energy supply.[40]

This is the mechanistic worldview through which scientists observe the inner workings of the vegetable arts. Photo, Greek for “light” and synthesis, “to combine,” is the process observed by which plants and algae convert light energy from the sun into chemical energy, and output oxygen.[41] Only once enough oxygen filled the atmosphere, could minerals like strengite and animals like humans evolve.

As the younger beings on Earth, humans have begun to imitate plants, a kind of photosynthesis mimesis. Solar panels, or photovoltaic cells, composed of silicon in flat arrays, have begun to colonize the roofs of buildings and vast patches of land.

The solar cell you see attached to the glass, is plugged into speakers. Like this, it converts light into sound. When these words stop, take a moment to listen to the hum of the various light frequencies in the room, the fluorescent tubes, and the projection of video pixels. The sound is the undulating ambient interference that your ears normally cannot hear, and that even your eyes cannot entirely see.

Chapter eight over.



[40]  Davies, Paul & Kenrick, Paul (2004) Fossil Plants, Smithsonian Books, Washington, Natural History Museum, London, pg. 35-37

[41]  Schopf, J. William (1999) Cradle of Life, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, pg. 341
https://www.etymonline.com/word/photosynthesis
https://www.etymonline.com/word/synthesis



Chapter 9

These words come to you from an ancient squid. Geology in early 1800s Europe, was a young practice, dominated by men, many of whom were religious and believed that the “role of science was to discover and exemplify… the workings of God.”[42] But fossils and their arrangement in sedimentary layers, began to tell a much older story of Earth than had been described in the bible. Two women, Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, contributed immensely to the changing comprehension of prehistoric life. For they were experts in the finding and studying of fossils. At the time, the Geological Society of London would not recognize women as scientists, but its members would travel to visit Philpot and Anning to buy their fossils.[43]

When Anning was just 13 years old, she unearthed the first complete skeleton body of an ichthyosaurus. Translated in English as “fish lizard,” a specimen of this species can be seen above the desk at the entry to this side of the museum.

Direct your attention to the translucent bullet-shaped fossil with tinges of shiny violet. This is a belemnite, the fossil of what is now known to be an extinct squid-like animal from the Jurassic period, similar to the ammonites, whose remains fill the cases around you. Only the skeleton of this rare specimen has been replaced by Opal.

In 1826, Mary Anning discovered what she thought was the fossilized ink sack of a belemnite. Elisabeth Philpot was then able to re-liquify the hardened ink, using it to paint illustrations like the one you see here of an ichthyosaurus skull.

But what is the art of the belemnite? Perhaps it is so passive and telepathic, that we have thought it was our own. Perhaps it is the very shifting of one species’ worldview, as conveyed through the substance of another’s long-dead body. The dark liquid spoke forth from the ancient squid, through time and through Philpot’s hand, into the collective conscious of curious humans.[44]

And the sweet milk of the heart's fountain,
Choked and crushed by a heavy mountain,
All curdled, and hardened, and blackened, doth shrink
Into the fossil sepia's ink.
[45]

Chapter 9 over.



[42]  Schopf, J. William (1999) Cradle of Life, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, pg. 19

[43]  To a certain extent the stories of Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot can be found on decent Wikipedia entries for the two. The two are also the main characters of a historical novel written in 2009 by Tracy Chevalier, entitled Remarkable Creatures.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Anning
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Philpot

[44]  General inspiration for this passage comes from chapter IV on Vampyroteuthic Culture.

Flusser, Vilém, Bec, Louis ([2012] 1987) Vampyroteuthis Infernalis: A Treatise, with a Report by the Institut Scientitique de Recherche Paranaturaliste, Translated by Valentine A. Pakis, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, USA, London, UK pg. 45-68

[45]  Martin Farquhar Tupper, (1838) Geraldine, Joseph Rickerby, London, UK, pg. 14 [.pdf version]



Info

Chamber of Displacement, 2019
Audio guide with objects selected from the collection of the Musée cantonal de geologie, Lausanne, and artworks dispersed into the museum displays.
Total duration: 28'48"

Written and recorded for the exhibition Uncertain Futures at the Musée d'art de Pully and the Musée cantonal de geologie, Lausanne, Switzerland.

April 11 - July 7, 2019



Credits

Written by: Hunter Longe
French Translation: Olivia Fahmy & Lauren Huret
Voice (English): Hunter Longe
Voice (French): Isaline Douçot

Produced by: Musée d'art de Pully and the Musée cantonal de geologie, Lausanne

Thanks to: Olivia Fahmy, Isaline Douçot, Lauren Huret, Scott Elliot, Nan Hill, Brian Longe, Nicolas Meisser, Gilles Borel, Timon Ganguillet, Benjamin Elliott