Precious Strata

Precious Strata


María Morata

La Casa Encendida


Film series



Preciosos estratos

Through a film series at La Casa Encendida, Preciosos Estratos aims to create a necessary awareness of the geological as a primordial condition of our time through a film cycle. Curated by María Morata and hosted at La Casa Encendida.

The audiovisual pieces that make up the four sessions direct their gaze towards the deep layers of our planet and explore, from diverse artistic and critical perspectives, the earth's biochemical sedimentary structure and its complex relationships with the economic, political and cultural spheres. Rethinking the materiality of the geological is a key aspect to understand the relationship between human and non-human agents within the contemporary context of the Anthropocene. Capitalism and its voracious appetite for energy, material and mineral resources is based on a logic of globalization that assumes their infinite and permanent availability. The human agent seems to have the indisputable right to extract and exploit the subsoil for the sake of unrestrained economic growth. It is a paradox that a large part of the very materials that the Earth supplies to industry (fossil fuels, silicon, copper, aluminum, gold, bauxite, nickel or uranium) are integrated into structures, machines and technological devices that are used to continue drilling, extracting and extracting materials from its entrails in a more efficient and optimized manner. The result is a circularity that is unsustainable and blind to biological, economic and social imbalance. Faced with this asymmetrical relationship between human and natural resources, the thinker Dipesh Chakrabarty advances the concept of the planetary. This is a change of perception of the Earth, which highlights not only the finiteness of its materials but also the consideration of the deep layers of the planet as essential agents for developing new policies and managing new coexistences. For decades we have internalized the image of the Earth as the blue marble that NASA astronauts took on December 7, 1972, from Apollo 17, an external vision, from space, whose name already announced its fragility and vulnerability. The poetic transparency of the iconic crystal ball is imposed by the material solidity of the planet. New epistemologies are needed, and even new cartographies of this terra incognita, which are the sedimentary depths accumulated over millions of years, and how they have been modified by human actions. The philosopher Bruno Latour warns of the imbalance that the human factor has introduced in the so-called critical zone: a thin layer of a few kilometers that includes part of the subsoil and the atmosphere and that harbors all the biological activity of the Earth. A sensitive, reactive and fragile zone, whose capacity for self-regulation and regeneration is at a clear disadvantage in the face of the industrial exploitation of its resources. The four programs of the series address the geological as a primordial condition of our time from diverse critical perspectives: the magic and spirituality of telluric forces, the neo-extractivist and neo-colonial processes, the minerals and metals contained in the electronic devices that sustain our digital culture, as well as the speculative and feminist narratives that imagine conciliatory and responsible futures.

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