A Measure of Minerality, 2018


Exhibited at: BioDesign Here & Now, London Design Festival, 2018;

and Show 2018, Royal College of Art, London

See CLOT Magazine article about this piece here.


How mineral are you? What is your rockness? How human is the ground you stand on?


This immersive experience explores the ‘material ancestry’ between human bodies, rocks and earth to highlight the geological time implications of material transformation on the planet.


Phosphorus is essential for life as we know it: It’s used for energy transfer in animals and plants, it makes up the mineral in our bones, it’s found in high concentrations in rock that is processed into agricultural fertiliser. Humans share the same elements as rock and fertiliser. A Measure of Minerality explores this kinship between humans and nonhumans, in an immersive cave-like installation where visitors can encounter the minerals that make up their bone composition. Atomised particles of phosphate rock, fertiliser, and mammal bone rotate and flow past one another perpetually, forming moments of convergence and dispersion. This ever-changing and shifting collection of particles reminds us that the present moment is, as Timothy Morton says, just a fleeting glimpse of the result of the Big Bang—all was changed before, and all will be changed again.


Film by Jim Smith

© Copyright Greg Orrom Swan 2020