This project centred around the continuation and further development of an investigation into the impacts on the landscape of technological development and the exploration of geological resources in Alentejo, Portugal.
In Portugal, marble has been widely associated to the landscape, particularly in urban environments, attached to a sense of national prestige and exploited through tourism. People from all around the world, much like in other places in Europe, visit cities, cathedrals, palaces and squares enchanted with marbled scapes that embody our glories and achievements.
However, it is rarely understood the impacts and the mechanics that surround these great constructions. By exploring the ‘reversed cathedrals’ of the quarry pits, it’s intended a reflection on the deep impact of human activity on the environment.
Therefore, the project intends to tell this story, not from the human point-of- view, historically and scientifically, but from the subjective point-of-view of the stone.
This might allow the possibility to re-think the ontologies created around the stone, and explore imaginaries of relational personhood, the distribution of harm, and the limits of vulnerability1, questioning notions of the inorganic as passive and inert, freely to be explored.
Hence, it is intended to question the current narratives by establishing an empathetic relationship with the landscape to rethink “geontologies”1 and to reinforce an imaginary in which we think with the soil, rock, and the landscape.