Archiving/designing at FAYD
Currently fellow researcher at Politecnico di Milano

Previously artist in residence at Fabrica Research Centre
-> Residency Archive



Editor/Designer at FAYD
Currently at Fabrica Research Centre

Residency archive


Research project, writing, mapping
3D visualisation (Rhinoceros, Blender), 3D scanning 

in collaboration with Susanne Sjöberg, PhD in Geology from SU University, Stockholm

traces in the mine, Ytterby (north of Stockholm)

Yttrium, Terbium, Ytterbium, Erbium. Those four metals are
some of the so-called Rare Earths and today are essential to lighten up our screens and make our smartphones vibrate.
They all have been discovered in the rocks of a small mine
called Ytterby, in the swedish island Resarö, in the Stockholm archipelago.

The beautiful quartz rock, overlooking the sea,
embeds a tangled network of materials and contaminations
that stretches through time and space. Inspired by Timothy
Morton’s concept of nature, and Jane Bennett’s vibrant matter, I spent many hours on the site, mapping and interacting with the rocks, where all those metals have been found and that now have contaminated the groundwater, spreading throughout the area. The water leaking from the rocks’ cracks has been slowly generating a proliferation of bacteria on the rocks walls.

Water and minerals, contamination and life. Today, in the Rare Earths mines in Inner Mongolia, toxic water dumps are spreading in massive lakes that seem never-ending by sight.

Today’s greed for metals in communication technology has a starting point here, in this small island in the north of Stockholm. The following text is a speculative story about future archeologists and their missions to post-mines and post-industrial sites.  

︎ Archeology in the post-Anthropocene is a hard discipline. Archeologists wear a set of equipment and they go to relevant sites around the world, sites where something important happened or sites with high symbolic value of destruction. Archeology is a hard discipline also because it’s difficult to copy with the ecological grief the discoveries bring and provoke. The way the anthropos consciously, relentlessly wreck the lifeworld on earth causes a sense of disorientation and sadness; the archeologists need to be impartial though. Their job is to neutrally describe the story of Anthropocene. They work in collaboration with geologists, since most of their findings are material examinations.

The archeologists were ready, fully equipped, to be guided to the site. Their vests, the ultra sensory gloves, were useful protection from radiations and other unpleasant encounters.
They have been taught about this species for a long time, they contributed to the knowledge we now have about them; but there is still a lot that needs to be discovered.
The site of the element n.39 was in a small land, surrounded by water, and it wasn’t hard to discover: the traces gave them clear indications of where they were supposed to go. When they arrived there, it was like the whole place was screaming at them, loudly and clearly calling them there. They didn’t know what they were looking for, but sure was they knew whey were going to find something. They started the ritual, touching the rocks, smelling them, trying to feel part of that place. The voices got softer and after some time they weren’t more than a whisper.
“What happened to this place” one of the archeologist thought. “Same thing that happened to all the others”, the second thought in reply. They looked at each other and even though they couldn’t see through the equipment, they knew what the other was experiencing.
That was one of the remnants left from the Anthropos. The archeologists shared with them the same genetic traits, but they could not be more different.
At some point during history of humanity, a group of humans started to divide themselves from others. After that period, that we could say now lasted for about 250 years, earth was reshaped - everything changed. We are not sure how did that happen, but we do know that the Anthropos are primarily responsible.

After spending some time in the site, they activated their gloves and, after taking a long deep breath, they started touching the most intriguing materials they could find in the site.

They were pervaded by flashbacks. Violence, encounters, fire, a black dense liquid falling through a hole, open wounds… they wanted to stop, they couldn’t do that anymore.
This job, finding traces and reasons behind the destruction, is the hardest that someone could possibly do.

Hours passed, and the archeologists were ready to leave the site. They said goodbye to the rocks, and they weren’t screaming as they did before. The two archeologists had a recipient full of materials they found there, and they were ready to start analysing them. They arrived in the laboratory.The first was a terribly beautiful, layered-type of rock, with different colours glowing in a mysterious way. When they touched it, they saw light, a sophisticated machine cutting back and forth other materials, and again, light and glowing. They also saw grey, complex machines flying and fire again. They imagined Yttrium and Ytterbium were used for complex and intricate machines.

They held the stone for couple more minutes, then they placed it in a safe container. One of the archeologist typed an intricate code in the metallic box and it closed, and while the two small doors of the box were touching each other, the archeologists mentally said goodbye to that rock, physical memory of many stories.

The second rock was a metamorphic green-brown colour, with bright coloured spots randomly positioned on the stone’s surface. Again, when touching it they saw lights, anthropos holding small object and redirecting them on different directions, letters, numbers, beep sounds. It went on for hours, and most of the materials they touched with their gloves showed similar things: earth cracks, light, huge boats crossing the oceans, fumes, pain and desires.The two archeologists felt they were starting to know a bit more about the anthropos.

From the adventures of two archeologists, 5.000 years from today ︎

process & exhibition

from exhibition at Konstfack, 2020