The Stone for Burning
2016
Series of 15 digital prints at 8”x10”

This photo series illustrates the handmade production of lime (calcium oxide) from limestone and oyster shells.

Through research into the chemical transformations of lime, this project considers the vital role of material as co-actant. We often consider human consciousness superior to the stuff that makes up our environment. In this mindset, it is hard to imagine and respect nonhuman materials as actors in the world. If we start to recognize our own bodies as material — “the minerality of our bones, the iron of our blood, the electricity of our neurons,” as Jane Bennett writes in Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things — and acknowledge materials as active agents in daily life, we can begin to make more sensitive and ecologically generous decisions. Lime, often sourced from limestone, is interesting in its many chemical permutations. By way of human hand (burning) the limestone releases gas, and later absorbs these gases from the atmosphere in the act of hardening. I am interested in this moment when the material loses itself only to re-become in an altered form, and the substance ‘lime’ being only a momentary state of that transformation.