Sofía Dourron

There was a word inside a stone

There was a word inside a stone

September 2023
Seoul Mediacity Biennale, Seoul Museum of Art

From the sixteenth century until now, the West has built a way of speaking about nature that presents it as independent from the observer. From the era of colonialism and collection, the voice of the describer has been separated from the phenomena described, whether those are human or nonhuman “others.” This was the origin of modern experimental science: a program for purifying the discourses of nature and society, expunging from each the traces of the other. However, at the height of nineteenth-century Enlightenment, geology and linguistics—stones and words—were entangled not only by the foundational notion of uniformitarianism (the idea that the formation of the Earth’s crust took place through countless small changes occurring over vast periods, and that languages of the past are no different in nature from those of the present), but both their consolidations as modern sciences were, at the same time, also rooted in the deepest and more obscure aspects of our colonial histories. 

In THIS TOO, IS A MAP: An Anthology, Rachael Rakes with Sofía Dourron (Eds.), Seoul, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul Mediacity Biennale, 2023.