- Manal Abu-Shaheen
- Vahap Avşar
- Jesus Benavente and Felipe Castelblanco
- Brian Caverly
- Kerry Downey
- Magali Duzant
- Golnaz Esmaili
- Mohammed Fayaz
- Kate Gilmore
- Jonah Groeneboer
- Bang Geul Han and Minna Pöllänen
- Dave Hardy
- Sylvia Hardy
- Shadi Harouni
- Janks Archive
- Robin Kang
- Kristin Lucas
- Carl Marin
- Eileen Maxson
- Melanie McLain
- Shane Mecklenburger
- Lawrence Mesich
- Freya Powell
- Xiaoshi Vivian Vivian Qin
- Alan Ruiz
- Samita Sinha and Brian Chase
- Barb Smith
- Monika Sziladi
- Alina Tenser
- Trans-Pecos with 8 Ball Community, E.S.P. TV, and Chillin Island
- Mark Tribe
- Sam Vernon
- Max Warsh
- Jennifer Williams
- An Itinerary with Notes
- Exhibition Views
- A Distant Memory Being Recalled (Queens Teens Respond)
- Overhead: A Response to Kerry Downey’s Fishing with Angela
- Sweat, Leaks, Holes: Crossing the Threshold
- PULSE: On Jonah Groeneboer’s The Potential in Waves Colliding
- Interview: Melanie McLain and Alina Tenser
- Personal Space
- Data, the Social Being, and the Social Network
- Responses from Mechanical Turk
- MAPS, DNA, AND SPAM
- Queens Internacional 2016
- Uneven Development: On Beirut and Plein Air
- A Crisis of Context
- Return to Sender
- Interview: Vahap Avşar and Shadi Harouni
- Mining Through History: The Contemporary Practices of Vahap Avşar and Shadi Harouni
- A Conversation with Shadi Harouni's The Lightest of Stones
- Directions to a Gravel Quarry
- Walk This Way
- Interview: Brian Caverly and Barb Smith
- "I drew the one that has the teeth marks..."
- BEAT IT! (Queens Teens respond)
- Lawn Furniture
- In Between Difference, Repetition, and Original Use
- Interview: Dave Hardy and Max Warsh
- Again—and again: on the recent work of Alan Ruiz
- City of Tomorrow
- Noticing This Space
- NO PLACE FOR A MAP
- The History of the World Was with Me That Night
- What You Don't See (Queens Teens Respond)
- Interview: Allison Davis and Sam Vernon
- When You’re Smiling…The Many Faces Behind the Mask
- Interview: Jesus Benavente and Carl Marin
- The Eternal Insult
- Janking Off
- Queens Theatricality
Having been situated already at the site of extraction, the quarry, thanks to Shadi Harouni’s single channel video, The Lightest of the Stones (2015), we can operate at the intersection of art and use. These categories don’t really make poles. I’m following Lucy Lippard’s injunction to abandon the word “landscape” for “land use,” sitting in a dark corner observing dialogue exchanged by a cluster of men in front of a black mountain pumice quarry in Iranian Kurdistan, the site of a labor now profitless because of trade sanctions against Iran.
“It’s like this place was once boiling” (The Lightest of the Stones, 2015).
The oldest bedrock exposed in the New York City area is Fordham Gneiss, a billion-year-old deformed sequence of metasedimentary, metavolcanic, and metaplutonic rock that is exposed in the Bronx, with portions existing beneath the Cretaceous and overlying glacial sediment of Queens and Brooklyn, extending into the subsurface of Manhattan. The rock consists primarily of quartz, feldspar, mica(s), amphiboles, pyroxene, and garnet, usually with “accessory minerals” kyanite, sillimanite, epidote, and magnetite.
We know we’re interested in description, that writing can describe the world and remind us of where we are as a species, as bodies, capacities, and subjectivities. We know we’re interested in how observation is also fantasy and documentation is also imagination. In producing these objects, texts, experiences, we can imagine and demarcate other possibilities, impossible realities, and different kinds of permissible violence: like the violence of narration, of constructing alternative personal and cultural histories.
Directions to a gravel quarry: Take the George Washington Bridge to the Cross Bronx Expressway. Follow the Cross Bronx Expressway to the Whitestone Bridge. You will then be on the Whitestone Expressway. Take the Whitestone Expressway to Exit 14 (Linden Boulevard). Stay on the service road and go through three lights until the end. Then make a left onto College Point Boulevard. The terminal is a quarter-mile down the road on the right (before Best Concrete).
What if it becomes important to see “slow” and/or “death” as essential nonce taxonomies invested with strains of irrational, uncanny, disloyal, even cruel resistance to hegemonic notions of wealth and prosperity—as decidedly unheroic, but essential? If we do away with investments in fit-ness, longevity, and citizenship as a priori?
“There was a time this place was all molten iron” (Stones, 2015).
The word “todt” is a variant of the Dutch word for death, thought to refer to Todt Hill’s history as a burial ground and site of colonial violence against indigenous inhabitants by Dutch settlers. (The residue of violence restricts itself to a line of notation on signage posted at Sports Park, Toad Hall Playground, by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.) The first instances of iron mining in the New York City area have been traced back to the excavation of iron ore from the decomposition of serpentine rock on Todt Hill, Staten Island, in 1644.
“It could be extracted with relative ease” (Signage, Sports Park, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, as part of the Historical Signs Project).
In her center room installation, Barb Smith displays “the things we keep” (Memory of a tiptoe…, Mixed media installation, 2016), “granite dust from a monument making shop in Queens, fine bone china rims, when all the color goes away, rubber cast of how to move in 1939.” Hardened—our word—object, memory foam soaked in resin in which her bodily form is impressed. “Chunk glass”; “sinking pewter.” These excavations aren’t without their languages, traumas, histories.
Daisy Atterbury is a writer based in New York and New Mexico. Her research interests include theorizations of gender, race and coloniality with a focus on 20th Century poetry in the U.S. and Canada. She directs an annual seminar program founded in 2010 to support conversation around aesthetics and politics in Santa Fe. Her work has engaged audiences through various media formats including film, installation and performance as well as more traditional outlets of production and publication. She received her MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College and her BA at Yale University, and she is an instructor at Queens College, CUNY. She is currently pursuing her PhD at The CUNY Graduate Center.