Killa Schuetze Photography
The former coal mining grounds of Zeche Zollverein in Essen are wrecked earth.
Rocks, millions of years old, were torn from their infinite subconscious existence and exposed to the surface.
Back then, coal extraction fuelled the industrial revolution. Today, resources continue to be extracted from the earth. Earth’s rare elements form the heart of seemingly bodiless digital technology.
Everything we call digital, immaterial and artificial, has its origin in the earth. In its material memory, it holds memories of ancient development while providing the foundation for-, and envisioning the potential of a distant future. Today, the scars of industrialization run through the earth like a hidden network. As if, back then already, the Earth imagined realities of our time.
Today, we are able to create complex neural networks - artificial intelligence that is capable of learning. Unnatural life imitating us. Shaped from a material that we extract from the earth.
Is this material’s memory something we process into that, which in turn, resembles us and the earth itself? How can something created from the earth be artificial? Are the components of a stone already memory carriers before they are extracted and combined with other minerals to form storage media? Are they able to communicate?
Can stones remember ? And, what if they wish for things? What if the earth dreams? Is our reality a speculative reality? Are we a dream dreamt by an Earth devastated?