FORTHCOMING: for ARTINA 2017"land use, (re)use, and abuse" at the Sandy Spring Museum in Sandy Spring, Maryland
PUBLIC SOIL MEMORY FOR THE PLANTATIONOCENE
raina martens and brittney robertson
Ceramic stelae made of local clay, etched with photos and text from the sandy spring museum archives. embedded qr codes link to audio (interviews with sandy spring residents). the objects act as future fossils and time travel machines, connecting the soil and the social. we want to lift out of the ground stories deeply buried in American public memory and contemporary ecology as well. the objects we're "digging up" interrogate marks made on the earth and on (people's) bodies.
Sandy Spring, MD prides itself on its history of Quaker manumissions, but the narrative isn't able to account for the psychic and material afterlives of slavery. We're examining the history of soil exhaustion and mono-cropping in Maryland. We want to think through the ecological and economic relations that produced and were produced by slavery. How remembering the past has consequences for the present and future. Our project takes soil as the starting place and medium for remembering.