In the Aura of a Hole: Exploring Sites of Material Extraction


In the Aura of a Hole: Exploring Sites of Material Extraction


25 × 23 cm | 9 × 10 in
40 ills | 144 pages

Author: A Laurie Palmer


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In The Aura of a Hole charts the decade-long work of artist, writer and teacher A Laurie Palmer, which explores the wider effects of mankind on nature through vivid images and incisive texts, thus strongly appealing to lovers of contemporary land art and environmentalism.

Taking various forms—sculpture, installation, public projects and writing—her work is concerned, most immediately, with resistance to privatisation, and more generally, with theoretical and material explorations of matter's active nature as it asserts itself on different scales and at different speeds. This publication focuses specifically on a decade-long project Palmer undertook: an extended exploration of mineral extraction sites in the US.

Through her narration, the project discusses themes of the raw scientific and mechanical aspects of the industry, alongside environmental justice, First Nation rights, industrial agriculture, chemical weapons, low temperature physics, the Cold War, the Iraq War, biotechnology, bio geochronology, nanotechnology, Homeland Security, globalised trade, global warming and unemployment. Palmer has shown her work, both independently and with the four-person art collective Haha, at national and international venues since 1988, and has published writing since 1986.

Palmer teaches in the Sculpture Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her works are in the collections of institutions such as the City of Linz, Austria; the Smart Museum of Art, Chicago; The University of Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the University Galleries, Illinois State.