Michel Foucault applied archaeology to knowledge. Robert Smithson wrote about a sedimentation of the mind. And currently, the concept of Anthropocene suggests that geology can no longer be only a natural science. But what is the archaeology of geological categories themselves, and how can archaeology and geology approach the condition of a public science?

We propose the method of vernacular geology, which traces geological records across different domains of life. Such practice is in part an everyday aesthetics of geological meanings and in part a geology of earthly materials as we experience them in their habitual forms, taking seriously rocks, statements and images. Vernacular geology is concerned with geological knowledge, but it also explores how this knowledge informs the sedimentation of perceptions and imaginaries.

Practising such mode of inquiry, the exhibit is built around a triple typology that makes up the geology of the Baltic Sea's eastern shores: the stratigraphic layers of the Cambrian-Ordovician limestones and sandstones, the glacial drift of granite boulders left from the last ice age and the unstable grid of "brick pebbles" and anthropogenic conglomerates. We pay attention to how rocks are used and abused and how they become ideological carriers and relics: national symbols and economic resources, romantic objects and obstacles of urban development, cladding materials and ruins of gentrification.

The underlying conviction is that geology can speak to politics, economy and architecture without necessarily recoursing to an expert language. Vernacular geology is the becoming-public of geology, whereby rocks, statements and images are related to the matters of public concern.

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Collaboration with Agata Marzecova.

Produced for the Baltic Pavilion, Venice Biennale of Architecture 2016.

Photos: David Grandorge, Johan Tali.