A thin crust of soil and vegetation clad the earth’s bedrock. Rarely seen in New York City, except in the a few dramatic outcrops that remain, stone lies beneath everything. In other places, the magnitude of the mineral world is revealed where roads have been carved through hillsides, in cliffs such as the Palisades and in the sublime mountainous landscapes of the West, the Alps, and the Himalayas. Stone appears to be stable, inert, but is in a constant state of metamorphosis. These changes occur on multiple time scales: incomprehensibly vast periods that extend to billions of years, cataclysmic events that interrupt and disturb longer cycles, and daily geomorphic weathering. Bedrock is folded, lifted up, penetrated by jets of magma, and is pushed under to become molten, undifferentiated mineral stew. Rock is eroding, shedding layers, oxidizing, reacting to various exposures and proximities, often breaking into smaller pieces.
Individual stones have been prized for their color, shape and crystalline structure; rough, dull exteriors can belie gemiferous interior troves. Some rocks are renown for their musical resonance, such as the Lingbi scholars’ rocks; others have been mined and mapped for economic resource extraction. The mineral component of our landscapes determines what will grow, effecting pH and nutrient availability, how light is reflected and absorbed, and more obviously determines the natural topography upon which we trod.
As with our previous issues, the topic has inspired a range of interpretations. Stonewalls, cabinets of precious gems, stones that are more animal than mineral (bezoars) or stones that are carved to appear more stony (French rocaille work), maps of mineral deposits, pictures, odes and exposition on the history of situating rock strata are some of the topics discussed and realized for OUTCROP.
Nancy Seaton, Marie Warsh, Hsieh Ling Yun, Kate Papacosma, Chris Patch, Meghan T.Ray, David Howell, Charlie Howe, Jill Desimini, DJ Savarese, Diana Gruberg, Greg Owens, Hans Baumann, Clark Coolidge, Dave Tomkins, Alyssa Gorelick, Wayne Morris, Margaret Gisia Mosiej, Bernadette Mayer, Sophia Warsh, Laura Harmon, Jeffrey Schiff