We Are Walking Talking Minerals, 2017


An A0 (841 × 1189mm) drawing project about the desert as a place used as a testing ground, I chose the Błędów Desert, Poland.


The mineral elements that are converged together to make the assemblage that is known to us as the human, are the same mineral elements that make up the composition of the Earth and most of the known universe. Largely they were formed in the outer cosmos, by the fusing of neutron stars or some other celestial manufacturing. This moment we are situated within, is—as Timothy Morton says—just a particular fleeting glimpse of the result of the big bang, all was changed before, and all will be changed again.

The desert, a barren, perceptually lifeless landscape, can, it seems be formed by both the processes of terra and the processes of humans, as in the example shown here, the Błędów Desert in Poland. Humans, in the 13th century clear felled trees and lowered the water table so much that the land could no longer support non-human life, this was of course, to meet the needs of nearby mining and metal working—mineral farming. Sadly, the living world such as trees and shrubs had begun to reclaim the desert and reforest itself. Luckily, an EU incentive has cleared away the trees and restored it to desert.

Minerals surround us, they are us—they make up both the desert and asteroids. So maybe a ritual or event is needed to respect both the mineral composition of the human and the desert that they created. How mineral are you? What is your rockness? How human is the ground you stand on? How similar are the minerals you consumed yesterday to your bones?

As Lynn Margulis says, ‘We are walking, talking minerals’. Lets prove that—let us make a structure in this deserted human-formed desert, a measure of rockness, a home for human minerality. Is it all the same? The desert and I? And is it more similar because we created it?


© Copyright Greg Orrom Swan 2020