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'Rewriting', Film still, 6K © 2021 Clarke/Zgierska

Rock Rewriting & Rock Restitution, A Panel Discussion

Fr 27 Oct 2023 14:30 – 17:15, Politics of Knowledge Research Group - KABK, Gallery 3

In October 2022, Louise O. Fresco wrote that 'two years ago, the Gonçalvez Commission recommended the unconditional return of looted colonial art. (...) It is striking that there is hardly any discussion about the biological colonial treasures and how they were collected.'

During the Joint Research Day, Zuzanna Zgierska will host a panel discussion on the restitution of geological matter, including outer-space objects.

The results of Zuzanna’s ongoing project Out of Focus (co-directed with Louis Braddock Clarke) will provide prompts for conversation. Out of Focus is a case study of Innaanganeq Meteorite fragments extracted from Inugguit Nunaat by Danish colonisers and 19th-century North Pole explorers. In this project, shaping mineral magnetism became a strategy for the restitution of geo-matter and the return of indigenous stories. Through a series of fire rituals in Inugguit Nunaat and art-scientific experiments at the Paleomagnetic Laboratory in Utrecht, the samples of Innaanganeq Meteorite have been remagnetised. By rewriting their magnetic histories, new narratives emerge.

Besides discussing the lack of discourse on the return of looted natural matter and speculating on alternative modes of restitution, the conversation will touch upon the ownership of outer space matter.

Photo descriptions:

  • Rewriting - With a blowtorch, a 9.8 g sample of ‘Arnakitsoq’ (Innaanganeq Meteorite) has been heated up above its Curie temperature. The process was performed by the Inugguaq hunter and rock ‘n’ roll musician, Aleqatsiaq Peary, whose great-great-grandfather extracted the meteorite in 1897, taking it to New York. Through this gesture, Aleqatsiaq Peary erased the stone’s magnetic history. On an alchemical level, the colonial weight is lifted, triggering a new opening. Produced with Olennguaq Kristensen (left) and Aleqatsiaq Peary (right) at the ‘Arnakitsoq’ meteorite crater. Film still, 6K © 2021 Clarke/Zgierska.

  • Storing - A 17.5 g sample of ‘Agpalilik’ (Innaanganeq Meteorite) has been remagnetised to the geomagnetic value obtained from the ‘Arnakitsoq’ fragment that had previously undergone Rewriting (see above). In this experiment, the induction coil of a thermal demagnetiser continuously applies 58.650nT as the iron stone is procedurally heated to 1000°C. Produced with Dr. Lennart V. de Groot, Assoc. Prof. Paleomagnetic Laboratory, Utrecht University. Film still, 6K © 2022 Clarke/Zgierska.

  • Erasing - 0.1 g sample of ‘Agpalilik’ (Innaanganeq Meteorite) has been dissolved in 6M HCl. The yellow plasma solution is used for scientific measuring. As a side effect of such investigation, the meteorite vanishes into thin air, re-entering the atmosphere. Produced with Prof. Martin Bizzarro, Director StarPlan (Centre for Star and Planet Formation). Film still, 6K © 2021 Clarke/Zgierska.

'Storing', Film still, 6K © 2022 Clarke/Zgierska
'Erasing', Film still, 6K © 2021 Clarke/Zgierska.
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