UnEarthing/Re-Earthing is an ongoing project by the Coastal Reading Group that considers how to grieve our current epoch of extinction and loss. We ‘read’ environments by unearthing the particular cultivations that colonial, capitalist landscapes engender. It is our proposal that these landscapes prevent the grief process and that grief is essential for resisting the often blinding narratives of progress by opening up new (and old) temporal possibilities. In order to grieve the profound loss of species and their habitats in the present, we suspect that we have to grieve earlier changes to our environment that have gone unnoticed or that have been blocked.
UnEarthing/ ReEarthing: Fire + Land
In June of 2019 we traveled to the Paradise on Fire conference in Davis, California in the Putah Creek watershed. We considered the ways colonization affects cultivation of landscape, and recuperated a relationship and practice with fire as a regenerative process. Working with handmade paper embedded with native Californian, pyrophytic seeds, we enacted a grieving process where participants wrote letters to past beings and future stakeholders. These letters were burned, activating the seeds within. Jarred with soil and other regional living, lived, and yet-to-live materials, participants were invited to spread the jars’ contents in their own time.
UnEarthing/ ReEarthing: in Unlikely Journal
We are super happy to be included in the Unlikely Journal’s Art & Herbarium issue, where we describe our ongoing UnEarthing/ReEarthing project: https://unlikely.net.au/issue-04/unearthing-re-earthing
UnEarthing/ ReEarthing: Experimental video in Santiago
In the Fall of 2017 we traveled to the Knowledge Culture Ecologies conference in Santiago, Chile to screen a video that creatively documented the UnEarthing/ ReEarthing: We Weave and Heft by the River event held in Devon, England the year before.
UnEarthing/ ReEarthing: We Weave and Heft by the River
In 2016, the Coastal Reading Group traveled to Sweden where we conducted our first iteration of Unearthing/Re-Earthing, entitled UnEarthing/Re-Earthing: Seeds and Words. Here we took texts related to wilderness, cultivation, and speciation. We then performed cut-ups on them, rolling the resulting words/phrases into seedballs, which we offered to an urban commoning project at the edge of Stockholm. For our second iteration, UnEarthing/Re-Earthing: We Weave and Heft by the River, we traveled to southern England to host an all night conversation around an open fire about how to recognize and grieve the loss of non-human life and habitat passing at exponential rates in what Haraway and Moore term the Capitalocene. We worked with plants implicated in earlier local ecological transformations (such as Hawthorne, Oak, Corn Poppy), considering enclosure, war, and capitalism in relation to these plants.