Quarry Sonnets is a research project led by Miguel Santos that aims to develop novel artistic methodologies for a multispecies societal change. The focus is on the Vale de Meios Quarry in the Natural Park Serra de Aires and Candeeiros, Portugal. The area has been a source of limestone extraction for hundreds of years, literarily paving the way for many Portuguese streets.
In 1998, dinosaurs’ footsteps were discovered on site, tentatively from around 168 000 000 years ago. These distinct temporal dimensions remind us that humans are a minor footnote in the earth’s history: different times and assemblages, coexistent temporal fictions narrated in a more-than-human history.
Contemporary quarries are often hidden from public view but entangled in local heritages and their ecologies, including distant stories and uses of a globalized economy. At the confluence of this environmental, temporal, and societal conversation is an economic and metabolic exchange that co-exists and co-evolves with multiple species and across times.
Quarry Sonnets thinks with and through these complexities to tease the potential contribution that art practices can make to the discussion in the environmental humanities: how can artists, designers, researchers, stakeholders, and local communities learn, develop, and implement methodologies in collaboration with the biological, mineral, material, historical and societal more-than-human world of a quarry?
Quarry Sonnets combines artistic research, collaborative practices, design research, ecology, philosophy, and storytelling, to address the value of site-specific inquiries that compost dominant discourses in quarry rehabilitation practices and contribute to societal change.