Salt Marsh Deep Time Study Center
aterials: Eastern Hemlock logged in early 20th C and salvaged from 108 Willoughby St in Brooklyn, NY, oat grass, potting soil, plastic, air dry clay, plaster, found wood, video equipment, lamps, paper mache, salt marsh sedimentary core sample, biological compound microscope, slide, various species of foraminifera 10’L x 9’W x 7’H
Installation View, Institute for Contemporary Art at Maine college of Art and Design

Salt Marsh Deep Time Study Center has been developed as part of Laboratory for Other Worlds, an ongoing research project and exhibition series on climate and the potential impacts of global warming on urban sea levels in the U.S. Northeast, based on climate science by researcher Andrew Kemp. This study center focuses on local salt marshes and their unique position at the edge of the sea and the land, and their history of rich ecologies buried within thousands of years of sedimentation. These marshes provide climate researchers with an understanding of ancient biomes, which are accessed via sedimentary core samples and used to reconstruct deep time habitats, and therefore ancient shorelines. This helps us understand the characteristic fingerprints that will affect future sea level rise. Salt Marsh Deep Time Study Center invites viewers to contemplate the complexity of salt marsh ecologies and their great value to human knowledge construction and more than human lifeways.

Salt Marsh Deep Time Study Center, detail
10’L x 9’W x 7’H

Salt Marsh Deep Time Study Center acts as video installation/study center that has a small library, informational videos, live plants, pedagogical objects, and a working microscope.

Erin Genia, Earthling

Genia performing Earthling. Earthling is the Earth, a body, and a witness. As Earthling, Genia performs with pipestone, a sacred Dakota material that refers to the Dakota origin story in which the original peoples were killed in a flood, and pipestone is the remains of their bodies. Pipestone is considered sacred by the Dakota, and none of it can be wasted. During Genia's performance, she will utilize leftover pipestone fragments as chalk to draw on the gallery walls and floor.

Erin Genia, Canupa Iŋyan: Falling Star Woman

An example of Genia's work with pipestone, this pill-sized sculpture was taken aboard the Space Station, re-enacting Falling Star Woman's arrival on earth.

Location of Kemp's research sites in Newfoundland
2000 year old salt marsh at Belle Isle Salt Marsh in Massachusetts
Foraminifera CT Scan
Historic images of Foraminefera

“If there is a post-Anthropocene worth living in, those who live in it will need different stories, with no entity at the center of the stage.”

This quote helps to understand that “posthuman” means us imagining a time when humans don’t look out just for ourselves and those like us, that we understand that we are all one entangled life here on planet earth and that the wellbeing of all humans as well as all species, the land, waters, and soils is equally important.

Collaborating artists Tanya Crane and Erin Genia bring specific expertise to these conversation about science, including what are the different questions we can be asking, and what does it mean to consider the subject of science as sacred?

Laboratory for Other Worlds (Installation view, the Mattress Factory)
Paper maché, putty, cardboard, lab equipment, video equipment, insulation tape, found material, air dry clay, doll eyeball

Laboratory for Other Worlds (Detail)

Laboratory for Other Worlds is an immersive installation centered around a stop motion animation set. It uses an off-grid solar panel system alongside handmade and recycled materials to forge connections between green technology, science fiction, and the ecological imaginary.

Community Workshop, Art: the Experimental Science
Erin Genia, "Earthling" Performance
Patte Loper, exhibition performance